Traditional File Server VS SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online vs. file server – which one comes out on top?

What is a File Server?

A file server is a dedicated computer connected to a network of computers, providing a centralized location for file storage of business documents. Hosting of the file server can be at the business location or offsite at a data center for extra security.

What are the minimum requirements for a File Server and how much does it cost?

Entry-Level Server with the below spec ranges from $1000 – $ 2,000

  1. CPU: 1 x Intel Xeon Processor
  2. RAM: 16 GB
  3. HDD: 512 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD
  4. RAID: RAID 5
  5. OS: Windows 2019 Essentials

How do we ensure that the data saved in the File Server is safe & secure?

Even though the data is saved in the server, it is important to secure the user PCs as well to avoid ransomware attacks via emails, the web etc. which can negatively impact the business.
If we follow the best practices such as mentioned below, we can prevent the file server from attacks up
to an extent.

  1. Install Firewall & configure SSL VPN.
  2. Install Endpoint Security on the server and all user machines.
  3. Configure RAID 5 or 6 to prevent data loss if any hard drive fails.
  4. Limit the number of admin accounts.
  5. Allow only authorized users to access the file server.
  6. Always update the drivers, firmware, and patches.
  7. Set a strong password and do not share the admin passwords with users or do not allow the
    users to share the passwords with other users.

Traditional File Server VS SharePoint Online

How do we recover the data if multiple hard drives fail or if the Server is attacked by ransomware?

The best practice is to have a secondary backup on-site & a remote backup on an external data centre or on the cloud. In case of hardware failure, there are different software & hardware solutions to recover the data with a less failure rate, but it will be so expensive. If we have a previous day’s backup we can restore it. If the server is attacked by ransomware, different tools can be used to decrypt the files or the previous day’s backup can be used to restore the files.

How do we transfer a file from the file server to our customer or users who don’t have access to specific folders?

Small files can be transferred via email, copying data to a flash drive etc., whereas to share large files, file services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer are required.

How do we ensure users are securely accessing the corporate files?

Users in the office can only connect to a map network drive by logging in to their PCs with domain username & password. Remote users require VPN Client to access the files in the network drive.

What is the modern method of File Management?

Companies such as Microsoft, Google etc. offer Centralized File Management over the cloud wherein all the files are securely stored in a document library and can be accessed from anywhere, any devices.

What is the best-centralized document management system that can be easily integrated with Microsoft Apps & Emails? Why?

Microsoft SharePoint Online is the best solution that can be easily integrated with Microsoft Apps & Emails.

  1. Microsoft provides 25 TB of cloud storage for Microsoft 365 users.
  2. Microsoft 365 includes protection mechanisms to prevent malware attacks.
  3. Earlier versions of files can be recovered since versioning is enabled in SharePoint Online.
  4. Deleted files from SharePoint can be restored maximum of 93 days.
  5. No backup software is required since the data is stored securely, real-time in the cloud.
  6. Secondary on-site backup (NAS) & additional cloud backup is not required since files are saved in the cloud server securely and 99.9 % uptime & ransomware protection is guaranteed by Microsoft.
  7. Documents can be shared with external contacts by providing access or guest links.
  8. Documents can be securely shared and so only those with the right permissions can access the information

What are the key differences between using a traditional File Server & SharePoint Online?

The main advantage of going with SharePoint Online is that it doesn’t require any investment since SharePoint Online is a free service available with Microsoft 365 subscription. The data is secured and can be accessed anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Requirements / Features
File Server
Share Point Online
Physical Server
Required
Not Required
NAS Storage
Required
Not Required
Backup Software
Required
Not Required
Firewall & VPN
Required
Not Required
Recycle Bin
No
Yes (93 days)
Large File sharing with external contacts
3rd party solution is required to share large files.
Large files can be shared with external contacts
Collaboration with Microsoft Apps
Not available
Seamless Integration
Version History
Not available
Available
Multiple users working on same file – real time
Not available
Available

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