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Cloud Storage Migration: Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not covered in the categories listed below, please contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk to let us know!
What is the cost-recovery option?
Although the University is committed to OneDrive as its strategic, long-term cloud storage solution, Pitt IT recognizes that circumstances may make it difficult for some individuals to transition Box data to OneDrive before August 2022. For example, multi-institution research studies in which Pitt is the lead for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process may present complexities that require additional time on Box. To accommodate these scenarios, Pitt IT will offer a cost-recovery option that provides temporary Box access to individuals who may need it. Cost-recovery is an option for those who need to use their Box account to store files or share and collaborate with internal Pitt users beyond August 2022.
How much will the option cost?
The cost-recovery option will cost $250 per Box account, per year.
How long does the cost-recovery option extend Box service?
Purchasing the cost-recovery option extends Box service for individuals until August 2023. It has not yet been determined whether cost-recovery will remain an option after that time.
What are the advantages of migrating now?
The cost-recovery option delays, not eliminates, the need to migrate files from Box. Migrating your files sooner rather than later provides several benefits:
- Avoids additional costs incurred by department
- Eliminates uncertainty regarding whether cost-recovery will remain an option after the initial year
- Simplifies collaboration with individuals on OneDrive
How do I know if the cost-recovery option is right for me?
While some complex migration scenarios may benefit from the additional time provided by the cost-recovery option, other scenarios can still be accommodated by OneDrive. If you are uncertain whether cost-recovery is right for you, contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk. Our migration team will follow-up to discuss your migration needs and review options.
How do I request the cost-recovery option?
Pitt IT will provide information about how to request the cost-recovery option in the near future.
Can I move my Box files on my own?
Yes. However, we strongly recommend participating in the managed migration to OneDrive that is supported by Pitt IT. Our managed migration process leverages the University’s partnership with SkySync, whose wealth of experience moving data in the higher education sector helps to ensure all facets of your Box migration—data, internal permissions, and more—are transferred securely and accurately with minimal disruption to your work. Attempting to migrate data on your own will be more complicated, time consuming, and prone to unforeseen migration issues, including potential data or file corruption. If you have a time-sensitive project that requires you to move Box data before Pitt IT begins formal migrations, please contact our 24/7 IT Help Desk so that we can discuss your needs and review options.
How long will my migration take?
The length of a migration depends upon how much data and how many files you have stored in Box. Smaller migrations can take an hour or two, while larger migrations may span several days or more than a week.
To ensure your migration proceeds as efficiently as possible, we recommend you delete any unnecessary files and folders and remove yourself from any shared Box folders or files to which you no longer need access.
Will I be able to access my files during the migration?
Yes. However, avoid making any changes to Box files or folders after your migration begins. Changes you make while the migration is in progress will not be transferred to OneDrive.
If I am a co-owner of a file on Box, will it be copied to my OneDrive account?
Only files and folders for which you are the owner will be moved to your OneDrive account. If you do not see a folder in your OneDrive account that you expect to see, it is likely because someone else at Pitt owns the folder and has shared it with you. That shared folder will become visible to you when its owner is migrated to OneDrive. Until that time, you can continue to view its contents in Box.
What happens to my Pitt Box account after the University’s contract ends?
We are working through the details of this process and will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
Can I move my Box files to another cloud storage service?
Yes, but we advise against doing so. The University is committed to its strategic partnership with Microsoft, and we are confident OneDrive will meet the needs of the Pitt community. OneDrive provides many of the same features as Box, and it also integrates with SharePoint and Teams to provide additional collaboration options.
We strongly discourage the use of Google Drive for several reasons. First, it cannot be used to store Protected Health Information (see the University's Data Risk Classification matrix). In addition, Google is making changes that will eliminate options for storing flexible, large volumes of data. Due to these and other limitations, we do not believe Google Drive is a viable, long-term solution for most University users.
Will new Pitt students and employees receive a Box account?
The University stopped routinely provisioning new Box accounts to students, faculty, and staff effective Saturday, May 8, 2021. Existing Box accounts were not affected. However, instructors who previously asked students to use Box for classroom work are encouraged to direct students to OneDrive instead. OneDrive help resources are available on our website, or you can contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk at any time. Faculty and staff who join the University after May 8 and have a critical need for a Box account to facilitate their work may contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk to request an exception.
Sharing and Permissions
Can I use OneDrive to share files with people outside Pitt?
Yes. You can share files with people inside or outside the University.
I share Box files with external collaborators (i.e., people outside Pitt). Will those external sharing permissions migrate to OneDrive, or will I need to recreate them?
If you shared Box files with individuals outside Pitt, you will need to recreate external sharing permissions after the migration. We have enabled a OneDrive feature that helps to simplify this process and will provide more information soon.
In Box, my unshared files and shared files displayed in the same window. Do they display in the same window in OneDrive?
No. In the OneDrive web app, files display in the following locations:
- My Files: Displays files you own, but have not shared.
- Shared > Shared with you tab: Displays files others have shared with you
- Shared > Shared by you tab: Displays files you have shared with others
You can add individual shared folders/files to your "My Files" view by and selecting the "Show actions" icon (three vertical dots) next to the item and selecting "Add shortcut to My Files".
What is the best way to share files with someone in OneDrive?
Click the "Show actions" icon (three vertical dots) next to the folder or file you wish to share and select "Manage Access." From here, you can grant individuals direct access to the folder or file. You can also create a link that you can share with others.
Can I share files with someone who hasn't moved to OneDrive yet or doesn't currently use OneDrive?
Yes. You can share files even if the person with whom you are sharing has never used OneDrive. Their OneDrive account will be automatically created when they access the file or folder that you share with them.
Can a folder or file have multiple owners in OneDrive?
No. Folders and files have a single owner in OneDrive.
How is sharing affected when I move/restructure my folders that I've shared with someone?
Shared documents retain permission as they are moved among folders, but they can also inherit new permissions from folders to which they are moved. You can always check permission on a folder or file to make sure it is shared appropriately by clicking the "Show actions" button (three vertical dots) and selecting "Manage access."
Can you share folders and files with Active Directory groups?
Yes. In addition to sharing files with individuals, you can also use OneDrive to share files with Active Directory Groups, including Office 365 Groups.
How much storage space do I have in OneDrive?
OneDrive provides 5 TB of storage space, with a 250 GB individual file size limit. If you have more than 5 TB of storage in your Box account, we will reach out to you to discuss alternative methods to accommodate your data in Microsoft 365.
What is the largest individual file size that can be uploaded to OneDrive?
You can upload an individual file as large as 250 GB (as opposed to 15 GB in Box).
Can you upload files and folders by dragging and dropping them to OneDrive?
Yes. You can drag and drop into both the OneDrive web interface and the OneDrive sync client.
What is the difference between OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams?
OneDrive is an excellent tool to help individuals store, share, and collaborate on files. SharePoint is more complicated to use but offers some additional collaboration capabilities. Teams offers collaboration functions such as calling, conferencing, desktop sharing, and direct and group chat. OneDrive integrates with both SharePoint and Teams to help you make the most of your collaboration options. You can learn more about saving files in OneDrive vs. SharePoint and collaborating in OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint on Microsoft's website.
OneDrives displays files in list view. Can I change this view (for example, to display thumbnail images)?
Yes. There are three view options : List, Compact List, and Tiles. You can change views using the button at the top of the screen to the left of the information icon. The "Tiles" view allows you to see image thumbnails.
How do I upload a new version of a file through the OneDrive web app?
Click the "Upload" button at the top of the screen to upload a new version of a file. OneDrive will prompt you to overwrite the existing file if the name is the same. Make sure you click "Replace" if you want to overwrite the existing file, otherwise the new version will not be saved.
Can I upload a document, then edit and save it within OneDrive?
Yes, files can be stored, edited, and shared all within OneDrive.
Can I add comments to OneDrive files like I could in Box?
OneDrive supports threaded comments from within Office files. It also supports additional columns in the list view of a folder's contents that allow for metadata and notes fields.
I have workflows that involved the use of Box. How can I recreate those in OneDrive?
You can use Microsoft PowerAutomate (formerly Microsoft Flow)—part of Microsoft 365—to create workflows that integrate with OneDrive. You can also contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk for guidance on modifying workflows for OneDrive.
What permission types are available in OneDrive vs. Box?
OneDrive has a simplified set of permission levels compared to Box. The table below explains how Box permissions map to OneDrive.
|Box Permission||OneDrive Permission|
Can a folder or file have more than one Owner in OneDrive?
No. There is one absolute owner for each file/folder in OneDrive. Box's Co-Owner permission gets copied to OneDrive as a "full control" permission with similar functionality. If a folder owner is leaving the University, he or she should transfer ownership of that folder to another Pitt account prior to leaving.
I have two separate Microsoft accounts: a personal account (e.g., email@example.com) and a Pitt account (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org). How do I keep these two accounts separate when using OneDrive via a web browser and via the sync client?
- Web browser: One option would be to use one browser to log in to OneDrive with your Pitt account, and a different browser to log in to OneDrive with your personal account. If you prefer to use the same browser, you can create separate browser profiles to help keep your Pitt account and personal account separate.
- Sync client: You are able to log in to multiple OneDrive accounts at the same time via the desktop sync client. If you already use the sync client with a personal OneDrive account (or a UPMC OneDrive account), you will be able to add your University of Pittsburgh account to the sync client as a separate account so that you can manage your Pitt files there, too.
What types of data can I store in OneDrive?
Refer to our Data Classification Matrix for examples of the types of data that are appropriate to store in OneDrive.
How do I store data in OneDrive securely?
Refer to Pitt IT's OneDrive Security Guide to learn how to store sensitive data in OneDrive securely.
Can OneDrive be used to share research data and materials with study personnel?
Yes. If you have a previous protocol specifing Box as the storage medium for a research study, the IRB allows OneDrive to be used without modifying the protocol.