Microsoft has tweaked the controls in SharePoint Online to let administrators make better use of storage resources allocated to SharePoint websites.
The changes seek to make processes more automated, and to add some flexibility in how storage for SharePoint Online is managed within the Office 365 suite.
Until now, SharePoint site collections, which are groups of related SharePoint websites, had to be assigned a set amount of storage, and that storage space couldn’t be used for anything else even if some of it went unused.
That will no longer be the case, according to Mark Kashman, a senior product manager of the SharePoint marketing team. If an administrator has allocated 100GB for a site collection and only 20GB is used, the remaining 80GB is available for other purposes.
“[Site collections] no longer tie up blocks of reserved storage. Instead, only the actual storage used counts against total pooled storage,” he wrote in a blog post Monday.
Another change is the ability to toggle between manual and automatic storage management. The manual setting lets administrators apply storage limits to site collections, while the automatic setting increases storage requirements for site collections as needed, drawing on what’s available from the pooled storage for the entire Office 365 domain.
Finally, Microsoft has raised the ceiling on the maximum number of site collections Office 365 customers can create in their domains, from 10,000 to 500,000.
The changes to SharePoint Online pooled site storage don’t apply to the individual OneDrive for Business repositories of 1 TB that each Office 365 user gets.
Office 365 editions covered by these changes include Enterprise E1, E3 and E4; Education A2, A3 and A4; Government G1, G3 and G4; and Midsize Business. “The main caveats are that Office 365 Small Business comes with only one site collection and Office 365 Government plans currently have a 100GB per site collection storage limit,” reads the blog post.