SharePoint On – Premises VS. SharePoint Online (2013)

If you’re having a hard time selecting between SharePoint On – Premises, and SharePoint online of Office 365, this next article is for you.  A reasonable comparison to make: SharePoint on premise vs cloud.

What this article is about:

This article provides a basic overview of the primary differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On Premises. So let’s begin by taking a look at the different environments needed to run Online vs On Premises.

SharePoint Environments – SharePoint on premise vs cloud

SharePoint on premise vs cloudAs with any on-premise vs cloud based discussion, one of the most significant differences is the impact on internal resources. On-premise solutions require an internal IT support structure including people, hardware and software, or the use of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Conversely, cloud based solutions reduce the dependency on internal resources and typically provide better globally deployed fail-over and redundancy features.

On PremisesOnline
  • The SharePoint server farm is within the corporate network.
  • The IT Support team maintains the SharePoint farm and regularly applies Microsoft patches and updates.
  • On premise Active directory is used for authentication.
  • Full access to use and customize any SharePoint feature as needed.
  • Availability of Enterprise level services such as BCS, Performance Point, etc.
  • The SharePoint sites reside in the Microsoft Data Centre (MDC).
  • Microsoft applies patches regularly.
  • Microsoft’s SLA ensures 99.9% availability.
  • Microsoft’s global network of data centers provides reduced latency and high network bandwidth.
  • Support for Client Side Object & App model.

Feature comparisons: SharePoint on premise vs cloud

While the basic functionality of SharePoint remains the same, there are a number of significant feature differences between On Premises and Online:

CategoryOn PremisesOnline
Cost InvolvedPurchase/Maintain Hardware, Software licenses etc.Annual subscriptions for Office 365 Plans billed on a per user basis.
Infrastructure deployment & maintenanceIT Support Team to deploy/manage farm, latest updates or patches not always deployed.Microsoft manages the environment and ensures all updates and patches are deployed.
Business Continuity (BC)Dependent on internal capabilities.Microsoft built-in redundancy and fail-over for data centers, but does not provide end user backups or data recovery.
Product FeaturesSupport for enterprise feature, Office web App (OWA) needs to be installedMissing or limited features, pre-configured features
Customization OptionsFull support for server side code and client side code, App usage from OAC and SASFull Support- Client Side, Limited Support-Server side, Can use Apps from OAC or SAS
Information SecurityDependent on internal capabilities.Information in MDS meets industry-specific security standards
Compliance StandardDependent on internal capabilities.Verified by third party authors
Storage needsExpensive storage devices, Site Collection -More than 100GB, Scalable Storage SizeCheap storage cost, Site Collection- up to 100Gb, Maximum content in single tenant O365 plan based
DevelopmentFull trust solution can be deployed- Features in farm solutions can have scope as wide as the site collection, web application, or whole farm. Public facing website with much of customization is possible. Custom “Managed Path” allowed. More control can be delegated to power usersFull trust solution cannot be deployed- Only Sandbox solutions possible with scope up to the site collection level. Public facing website with much of customization is not possible. Custom “Managed Path” allowed. More control cannot be delegated to power users and maxim privilege level is Site Collection level.

Technical Comparisons

In addition to business features, there are differences in the technical features available to both options:

ServicesOnlineOn Premises
SearchLimited access to queryFull text Query
InfoPath Form ServicesOnly in E3, E4 and K1 plansRequired License to use InfoPath Form Services
Claim Bases AuthenticationN/ACan use SQL , LDAP and AD authentication
Managed AccountsN/AProvides a Managed Account to user at access the SP Admin Services
Usage reporting and LoggingN/AProvides LOGS and Reporting to check the exceptions and System Report.
Alternate Access MappingN/AProvides a map requests where the URL of a Web request received by Internet Information Services (IIS) differs from the URL that was typed by a user
SharePoint Health AnalyserN/ASite collection pre-upgrade health check examines a site collection and then generates a report listing any potential upgrade issues and how to address the issues

Pros and Cons

SharePoint On Premises

Control PerformanceCost of internal resources (staff, hardware, software, etc)
Scale Up and Scale OutAdditional Geographic redundancy costs
Reduces Bandwidth requirementsDisaster Recovery dependent on internal capabilities
Fully CustomizableScale Up/Out Cost (SW/HW)
Full Server and SQL DatabasePatching Servers/Farms
Migrate as NeededExtra configurations for External Collaboration
Seamless Single Sign on with Corporate Active Directory 

SharePoint Online

Uptime 99.99%More ISP Bandwidth
Multiple Data centersLimited Customizations
Geographically redundantPossible Storage Costs
Shorted release cycleRecovery SLAs
Managed Services (SaaS)No Server access
Pay as you go (Low Cost)
Reduced impact on internal IT resources

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No matter which solution you decide to use, SharePoint On Premises or SharePoint Online, you need to make sure you backup your data. No matter where your data is, you need a backup.

One thing is for sure: it’s much easier to backup cloud data using a third party solution, such as CloudAlly, which enables you to automatically backup your cloud data on a daily basis, and that is always accessible for you when you need it in case of data loss… Start to backup your SharePoint account with a Free 14 day trial.

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CloudAlly News – Australia Amazon Data Center, ISO Certification & Unlimited Storage

We are happy to announce that in addition to the Amazon U.S and E.U. data centers, you can now select the Amazon Australian datacenter for CloudAlly archive storage. This ensures that your data is in the appropriate physical location to address data privacy regulation.
You can contact to request a specific data center.

Amazon Data Center – ISO 27001 Certification

We’re also pleased to announce that we have achieved ISO 27001 certification, an internationally recognized accreditation for information security management. This certification recognizes CloudAlly’s ongoing commitment to secure cloud backup services by strict adherence to industry standard best practices. To achieve ISO 27001 certification, companies must strictly adhere to a number of disciplines including compliance, risk management, business continuity and security. This includes the design and implementation of extensive security controls and ongoing management of the process to maintain continued compliance. Read more

Microsoft OneDrive for Business – should you consider it?

The short answer is… yes, you should consider Microsoft OneDrive for Business.

Formerly called SkyDrive Pro, OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s answer to Google Drive and others. As an integral part of Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013, OneDrive for Business lets you work within the context of your organization and manage your work documents.

The most important feature is being able to share your file and collaborate with other people within your organization or partners outside the organization. Then there is the sync application that enables you to replicate a copy of your files at your local drive and edit either the local or the cloud copy.

SharePoint Backup
Sometimes there is confusion between Microsoft OneDrive (formerly called SkyDrive) and Microsoft OneDrive for business. OneDrive is simply a cloud storage owned and controlled Read more

SharePoint Online – The things you need to know

SharePoint Online Features

Microsoft SharePoint has been here for some time now, and today it’s also offered in an on-premise or cloud offerings. SharePoint is a key player in a very crowded space of business collaboration and content management with strong competitors like Alfresco, Google Drive and Drupal just to name a few. SharePoint Online Features is essential to understand the solution.

What this article is about:

Sharing features

To begin with, employees can access and share their documents using SharePoint Online.

  • The documents are stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere using mobile device or personal computer.
  • Employees can share information using SharePoint Online, share documents, assign tasks and follow up their status, share news and knowledge.
  • With SharePoint Online you can have a ‘site mailbox’ in which you can attach emails to each SharePoint site which for example can help capture all project’s emails in one common place.
  • Employees can post and share information and pictures in a news feed, comment on other posts and follow posts of others.
  • Sharing and collaborating is possible with other employees, partners or customers. Access can be granted for specific documents or to the complete site (project wall).
  • For each site there can be a light public facing site (with customized URL) in which information about the project or activity can be shared publicly.
  • SkyDrive Pro enables you to synchronize information on your computer or mobile device and also keep the files in SharePoint Online SkyDrive Pro space.

SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Online offers most of the capabilities of SharePoint 2013 (on premise version), features that are not included are :

  • central administration
  • full-trust code
  • analytics
  • BCS+
  • some advanced search features

Storage capacities

SharePoint Online offers storage space of 10GB plus 0.5GB per user (excluding Kiosk or external users) which can be used for the team sites. Each user also have 7GB of SkyDrive Pro space. Maximum site collection size is 100GB and maximum file size is 250MB.

In SharePoint Online small business plan there can be a single site collection, the Midmarket plan support up to 20 sites collections and Enterprise plan supports up to 3000 sites. Additional SharePoint Online storage can be purchased ($0.2 per GB/month).

SharePoint administration panel is different from the on premise SharePoint farm administrator one as in SharePoint Online it is Microsoft that manages the farm itself. You should note that Internet Explorer 6 and 7 are not supported in SharePoint Online.

Data retention

The recycle bin only retains deleted items for 30 days (administrators have additional 30 days), thus you can restore deleted list, library, list item, site, document or web part page. Microsoft backups your SharePoint Online data and keep it for two weeks.

CloudAlly offers a must have complementary service for SharePoint Online, an automated backup service that provides unlimited archive retention and the ability to restore items from any point back in time (including items that deleted from the recycle bin).

Now that you know more about SharePoint online features, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…


SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Backup

Microsoft SharePoint is a great tool in managing documents and information. It has vast potential if it is implemented with care into its environment. Like every new version, SharePoint 2013 has its good and bad.
Before we look at the good and the less than good, we should understand what Microsoft was looking to accomplish with the new version. Microsoft was especially concerned with improving the scale so they could service large companies.

The Good…

The newest version of SharePoint 2013 has brought many improvements. Users now have the ability to share files Read more

Office 365 – do we need to backup our own data?

Office 365 Backup Retention

The short answer is… yes. Of-course our office 365 backup retention policy is required.

Let’s start from deletions. What happens when you delete an email? You have 14 or 30 days to recover it from the dumpster and afterwards, it’s gone forever.

  • If you have Office 365 plans E3 or E4, then you can set the dumpster to keep deleted emails forever. However, if the size of the dumpster is limited, then the oldest emails will start to be permanently deleted…
  • If you have plans E3 or E4 though, you can configure the “litigation hold” per specific accounts and retain all deleted emails.

With SharePoint Online, deleted items are kept in the recycle bin for 30 days. But in case of malicious deletion this could be removed as well. SharePoint Online data is backed up every 12 hours and kept for 14 days which could help in some cases.

Net: all Office 365 users are exposed to data loss due to accidental or malicious data deletion, for some users, there might be a partial backup as mentioned above.

But what about data override that is done accidentally or maliciously by Office 365 users? Yes… if you did not back up your data in advance, there is a good chance that you will not be able to recover once you notice that the Calendar or Contact was overridden, or a SharePoint item that was overridden some time ago. The best you could do is to configure SharePoint versioning on the relevant folders and then for a limited time and limited storage capacity, you can enjoy versioning for specific supported file types.

In addition, there is the issue of not putting all your eggs in one basket, even if it is Microsoft’s basket.

By now it should be clear that you should be aware of the risks you take by not backing up your Office 365 data. But what can you do? Well, there are manual tools you can use to manually backup your data. For this purpose, CloudAlly presents the simplest and cheapest cloud backup for Office 365. You gain:

  • Daily automated backup
  • Unlimited archive storage
  • Unlimited archive retention
  • Secured Amazon data center storage (at US or EU)
  • One click restore
  • All Emails
  • All Contacts, Calendars, Tasks and SharePoint Online data (coming soon)
  • And more…

All of this for just $2.49 per user per month (for an annual subscription) or even less (for enterprise customers). You’re welcome to sign up for a free trial at and test it!