Maximum Storage Capacity SharePoint (Online)

Lots of people are convinced of the inability to store gigabytes or terabytes (not even thinkable) of information in a SharePoint website. The most common argument is related to the way SharePoint stores the data, which is in a SQL database. Databases are not designed store files, so store you files on files shares. This is, off course so pre SharePoint and the most system administrators (not all) feel more comfortable with their fileshare then handing their data over to the db admin. Now, we reach the point where the real pain exists, the lack of knowledge about managing large SharePoint environment with gigabytes or even terabytes of data.

And I think they are right! SharePoint is not just about Disks, LUNs or Volumes. No, you have make a lot of architectural decision based on good estimated on usage and volume. Several technical boundaries will influence your logical architecture, so be sure to spend some time to structure your data in SharePoint before you begin. For the physical part of your storage SharePoint Online provides you a solution to store up to 25Tb (yes, Terabyte). I am sure your system administrator will become interested how Microsoft realizes this with a database storage! The good part is, that you can build this your own, but you will not able to compete with Microsoft which has just lowered their pricing for Office 365 SharePoint storage to just 0,20 dollar per GB, which is just amazingly low!

SharePoint Online for enterprises: key features and specifications (from here)

Feature Description
Storage (pooled) 10 gigabytes (GB) base customer storage +
500 megabytes (MB) per enterprise user.
Storage per Kiosk Worker Zero (0). Licensed Kiosk Workers do not bring additional storage allocation.
Maximum number of Active Directory user objects Up to 500,000 AD user objects
Additional storage (per GB per month); $0.20 USD/GB/month.
Site collection storage quotas Up to 100 gigabytes (GB) per site collection.
My Site storage allocation 500 megabytes (MB) of personal storage per My Site (once provisioned).
Site collections (#) per tenant Up to 300 (non-My Site site collections).
Total storage per tenant Up to 25 terabytes (TB) per tenant.
File upload limit 250 megabytes (MB) per file

Argument to convince your business

Migrating your fileshare to SharePoint introduces a lot of business benefits which cannot be achieved with network storage. Hereby a bunch of benefits to convince your business!


  • Access your documents Anywhere, anytime, and on any device
  • Versioning (configurable) of documents; automatically saves versions of the document on save or upload
  • Metadata; automatically stores author information and allows to add additional structured or unstructured metadata
  • Search; be able to find documents and information within your business
  • Fileshare; SharePoint is accessible as a fileshare via WebDAV (nice to tell your System administrator)


  • Checkin/Checkout to prevent “double” editing; prevent multiple edits within the same version by locking the document before editing
  • Working together within one Word document; this is a really cool but even more functional feature which makes it able to work with multiple users within the same Word document
  • Office Web Apps; Open and edit files within your file browser (IE, Firefox and Chrome)
  • Alerting; get email or TEXT/SMS messages on changes to documents in SharePoint


  • Document approval and traceable workflows
  • Audit reports; report on reads, updates, etc

And lots of other features

Counter Arguments from your System Administrator

Heard arguments against SharePoint which can be expected from your system administrator:

Argument: SharePoint/SQL is not intend to store files
Your answer: Can you tell me why Microsoft offers up to 25Tb for a single tenant in Office 365/SharePoint Online?
Possible reaction: Yeah sure, and who is using this kind of storage right now?Your answer: Shell, Philips, should I continue? All Enterprise which terabytes of data use SharePoint

Argument: SharePoint is expensive
Your answer: $10 per month/per user is expensive? People spend more than 5 hours a day searching for information within their organization, what do you think about these costs?
Possible reaction: What is the source of this information?
Your answer: check or if you want to check it right now

Argument: Where hear a lot of failed SharePoint projects
Your answer: This is true, a lot of companies don’t take time to design their SharePoint environment.
Possible reaction: Do we want to spend this time, on designing while fileshares are just fine
Your answer: file share just fine? What is so nice about fileshares for the business?

Argument: SharePoint is complex
Your answer: that right! Do you think you can’t handle it? Hehe


With the right SharePoint Physical and Logical architecture you’re able to store Terabytes of documents in SharePoint. Use the given arguments to convince your business about the usefulness of SharePoint for your organisation.