Infrastructure Considerations When Migrating to OneDrive

data infrastructure

Infrastructure Considerations When Migrating to OneDrive

By Vlad Catrinescu | June 22, 2017

Migrating to OneDrive for Business can be a challenging task. From an IT perspective, they are responsible for its deployment and management, as well as ensuring its performance stability for their users. Before we move on, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page on what OneDrive is and what it should replace in your organization.

What is OneDrive for Business?

The primary goal of OneDrive for Business is to provide a space where users can store collaborative work files that are not yet ready to store on a SharePoint team site. It serves to replace limited personal P:\ or T:\ drives with a virtual repository where users can access their files from any device within the network.

OneDrive for Business also allows users to store files on an interface where they can benefit from Office Online, allowing them to access and edit files directly in the browser. Additionally, it can be deployed on SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016, as well as SharePoint Online. If you’re on Office 365 or have permitted open access to your SharePoint Server, users can access files from home—without needing to connect to a VPN.

Deploying OneDrive

When deploying OneDrive, you need to implement at least two roles:

1. Site Collection & MySites Web Application

From a technical point of view, each user has his or her own Site Collection in a MySites Web Application. These Site Collections are created the first time a user hits their site, meaning it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on your environment.

By delaying the login process, you facilitate poor user experience, which can result in inefficient user adoption. Fortunately, you can pre-provision them using the CSOM APIs through PowerShell.

2. OneDrive for Business Application

Subsequently, you must install the OneDrive for Business application on your users’ computers. Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager makes it easy to install the application via the sample SCCM package, but a SCCM admin can help facilitate the process and ensure it adheres to organizational standards.

Since OneDrive for Business has a number of settings—some of them which should be disabled—we need a way to enforce what users can and cannot change. IT professionals commonly claim that users can sync their personal OneDrive with their OneDrive for Business client, meaning users’ personal media files can slow your network bandwidth. To combat this, Microsoft offers OneDrive Deployment Package Admin templates for Group Policies, so you can effortlessly implement GPOs that manage these settings.

Consider Sizing and Scaling

The effort you need to put into sizing and scaling for OneDrive for Business will greatly depend on whether you are running SharePoint Server On-Premises or SharePoint Online. If you’re running SharePoint On-Premises and you’re migrating 1 TB of files from P:\ personal drives to each user’s OneDrive for Business, you will need to check if you have the required space on SQL databases.

Any adoption expert will state that if their users experience a slow platform, they will simply continue to use an antiquated workflow. As such, it’s crucial to optimize your SQL and SharePoint environments and have enough space in your SQL Server to handle the data for the initial migration.

If you’re running on SharePoint Online, migrating OneDrive for Business comes with a few advantages. Considering that each user has at least 1 TB of storage space in their OneDrive for Business account, moving data from Personal File Shares to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 can free up space on your server. Also, since Microsoft handles growth and backups, you won’t need to worry about those anymore as well.

What About Hybrid Mode?

OneDrive for Business can also be used in Hybrid Mode, and there are a few ways to deploy it. For example, you could keep your SharePoint content on-premises and move OneDrive for Business to the cloud. Similarly, you can also move users to OneDrive in the cloud while keeping other users on-premises. As an administrator, you have the option to configure your SharePoint 2013/2016 hybrid deployment.


To ensure a proper deployment, you will need to work with a SharePoint administrator and a deployment/SCCM specialist. Though migrating and deploying OneDrive for Business on your users’ computers can be daunting, you can guarantee a successful user adoption by also training users on how to use OneDrive.

If you’re looking for an efficient way to migrate to OneDrive, check out a free trial of Essentials for Office 365! Metalogix can lend a hand and facilitate an effortless OneDrive migration at your convenience.

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Vlad Catrinescu

Vlad is a SharePoint and Office 365 Consultant specializing in SharePoint and SharePoint Online deployments as well as hybrid scenarios. As a Pluralsight Author, Microsoft Certified Trainer and recognized international speaker, Vlad has helped thousands of users and IT Pros across the globe to better understand and to get the most out of SharePoint. Vlad is also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in SharePoint since 2013 and has his own blog at and he often shares his knowledge by speaking at local conferences and community events. Vlad also blogs at CMSWire as well as Computerworld and is often featured in other Microsoft sites such as Redmond Channel Partner.

Written By: Vlad Catrinescu