UWRF now has two cloud storage systems, OneDrive and FalconShare

Posted September 29, 2015

Earlier this year, UW-River Falls introduced a new cloud storage system from Microsoft called OneDrive for Business.

OneDrive was added on May 5 as part of a service agreement with Microsoft. OneDrive provides an option for cloud storage in addition to FalconShare, which has been around for years. Both cloud storage systems are available to all students, faculty and staff on campus.

Cloud storage allows a person to store data remotely over a network. The data can be maintained or backed up remotely.

Todd Schaefer, enterprise systems and services manager for the Division of Technology Services (DoTS), said that cloud storage has many benefits compared to flash drives or hard drives. The benefits of cloud storage are that users have access to anything stored in the system at all times and don’t have to carry around a physical storage device. Cloud storage also will automatically save multiple backup states for files, so if someone accidentally deletes a file they can easily find another backup for that file.

OneDrive is an Office 360 cloud storage system that can be used to store, sync and share files. OneDrive allows students and faculty to easily share files with each other, which can help when dealing with projects that require multiple students to work on it. The system can hold up to 1 terabyte of storage space per user.

Some of the limitations of OneDrive, according to the DoTS website, are that it can only sync up to 2 gigabyte-sized files and it also is limited to 20,000 files or folders to be synced at once.

FalconShare is the on-campus cloud storage system that can do many of the same things as OneDrive. According to the UWRF FalconShare page, the system can be accessed by any on campus workstation and allows users to share files with others. It also can back up files and may be able to restore a previous version of a file if it is deleted.

Both OneDrive and FalconShare require an Internet connection to access, which is one limitation the systems have compared to physical storage.

While both OneDrive and FalconShare are cloud-based systems, they have some differences, according to Schaefer. OneDrive is hosted by Microsoft, which allows it to have basically unlimited storage space compared to FalconShare, which has limited storage space.

FalconShare meanwhile is a bit quicker and will perform better since it is hosted on campus.

Since it was introduced, around 9,816 users have accessed OneDrive at some point while FalconShare averages around 50 logins per day, according to Schaefer.

Schaefer said that each cloud storage system has a place on campus and both have their advantages.

At some point, he added, UWRF might move away from FalconShare to a single cloud-based service that may or may not be OneDrive. For now, he noted, DoTS has no plans to change or move away from either system.