Collaboration and File Sharing Tools

By Ross Madden
Published on November 1, 2018 3:16 pm MT
Updated on November 2, 2018 12:49 pm MT
Posted in General CNSIT, Knowledge Base, The Cloud, Tips and Tricks

Working together and sharing files is essential in today’s work environment.  At CSU there are several options available based on the type of collaboration required.  In this article, I will attempt to summarize these technologies and list their characteristics.  If you are interested in using any of these in your area, please get in touch with CNSIT by creating a ticket: https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu/help

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive provides 5TB of cloud based storage to each active CSU faculty, staff and student.  Files stored in SharePoint are linked to a specific user account.

More information about OneDrive can be found at the following ACNS URL: http://help.mail.colostate.edu/onedrive.aspx

You can also learn a bit about how to access OneDrive files from the following article: https://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/cnsit/cloud-storage-for-personal-data

Pros
Microsoft OneDrive is ideal for users needing a personal and private cloud based storage area to keep important files.  With the OneDrive sync client for both MacOS and Windows, users can synchronize these files to a specific folder on the local users’ hard drive.

Microsoft OneDrive is included as part of CSU’s Office 365 service at no additional cost.

Cons
Microsoft OneDrive is not an ideal cloud based storage solution for users intending on collaborating with other users on files.

Microsoft SharePoint Online

Microsoft SharePoint Online is an Office 365 application that allows users to create intranet websites for sharing information and for project management and collaboration. SharePoint Online contains 1TB of cloud based storage on default.  Files stored in SharePoint are not linked to a specific user account.

More information about SharePoint Online can be found at the following ACNS URL: http://help.mail.colostate.edu/o365sharepoint.aspx

Pros
Microsoft SharePoint Online is ideal for groups looking to collaborate on files stored in an online cloud solution.  With the OneDrive sync client for both MacOS and Windows, users can synchronize these files to a specific folder on the local users’ hard drive.

Microsoft SharePoint Online is included as part of CSU’s Office 365 service at no additional cost.

Cons
Microsoft SharePoint Online is not ideal for users that require a drive letter to be mapped on a community computer.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offer a chat-based group workspace within Office 365 that includes tools and content targeted for groups of users wanting to collaborate.  Using the Office 365 Portal or the Microsoft Teams client, Team owners can add additional owners, manage the membership of the Team, add channels and content, and set options for the Team, such as setting it to be public or private team.

More information about Teams can be found at the following ACNS URL: http://help.mail.colostate.edu/office365teams.aspx

Pros
Teams is ideal for a group that would like an electronic collaboration tool based on channels, projects, or really anything!  It can act as a gathering space for all of your O365 services by linking SharePoint Online sites, and personal OneDrive accounts.

Microsoft Teams is included as part of CSU’s Office 365 service at no additional cost.

Cons
Teams is not ideal as a cloud based storage solution.  While Teams does come with some online cloud storage, it is often a great idea to link a Microsoft Team with a Microsoft SharePoint Online site.

RStor at CSU

RStor at CSU is a more classic solution to the Network Storage problem.  Hosted on campus, users are able to map an RStor network location using both CIFS and NFS.  RStor costs $70 per TB annually.

More information about RStor at CSU can be found here: https://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/cnsit/rstor-has-arrived

Pros
RStor is ideal for groups that require connecting to a network storage device that allows the mapping of a drive letter (Windows), or via NFS on Linux/MacOS computers.

Cons
RStor is not ideal for users/groups that want a free storage/collaboration solution that integrates with O365.

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