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OneDrive, like any cloud storage or syncing service, is very useful in some specific scenarios:

1 - Laptop users who spend a significant amount of time off-site

Your network U: homedrive provided by CSCS can only back up your data when you are on-site and connected to the wired network, or to MINTS/SLCU wireless. Otherwise, you will be working from a copy stored on your local computer only. If your computer hard drive should fail, or your computer were to be stolen, then you will be without a backup of anything created since you were last on-site.

So, if you work off-site regularly, you should consider using the syncing feature of OneDrive to backup either all of your files, or just the files you need or work on when you are off-site (for example, meeting notes).

Requirements: Laptop, regular internet access to upload files

2 - Users working on multiple devices, some of which are off-site

Your network U: homedrive is shared between all of your CSCS-supported computers, meaning you can log into any CSCS supported computer and access your files whilst on-site. If you use multiple devices, and some are not supported by us (for instance a home computer), then you could use OneDrive to sync files between your work computer and your home computer

Requirements: Home internet that is fast enough to download / upload your changes in an acceptable amount of time

3 - Users wishing to backup or archive data

You can use OneDrive via a web browser to manually upload and store data. This could be useful if you:

  1. Are running low on hard disk space, and need to store files elsewhere
  2. Need to backup a large volume of data
  3. Need to backup data and do not have an external hard drive, or memory stick (for instance if you are abroad).

You should keep in mind that in order to access your files again, you will need to download them again

4 - Users wishing to send large files to a colleague

Files that have been uploaded to your OneDrive can be easily shared via an invitation (to other OneDrive users) or a download link. As most email providers have a maximum file size limit of 25 - 100MB, this is a good solution for sending larger files that cannot be sent as attachments.



Scenarios where OneDrive is not suitable:

1 - Users who work on-site only

If you work on-site then your network U: homedrive will be faster and more reliable than OneDrive. The backups done by CSCS happen multiple times a day and are more comprehensive.

2 - Users that need to easily share or work on data with colleagues

Though it is easy to send a link to your files, the other person must download the files before they can work on them.  You cannot sync shared files to your computer automatically or work on a file at the same time. Network Group Drives are superior for using on-site with colleagues. With external collaborators, you might have better experience with Dropbox, which allows you to sync shared folders.


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