Storage Options Detail Comparison

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Office Document Storage Options

A comparison of options for storing files for teaching, administration and research. These tables show features for commodity services:

Basic Features

  U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Best for Collaborating on all document types, in and out of U-M Simultaneously editing office-style documents, in and out of U-M CIFS: For integrated Windows storage
NFS: For data mounted on Unix servers
Highly redundant and available file/object storage.
Cost No charge to use No charge to use Charge depends on features selected  
Storage allocation Unlimited Unlimited Variable Unlimited
File size limit 15 GB 5 TB Unlimited 5 TB
Store any file type?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Available on off-campus networks
Yes
Yes
with VPN
Yes
Approved for sensitive data 9 types 6 types Via CIFS: 10 types
Via NFS: None
8 types (M Cloud) 9 types (M Cloud - GovCloud)

File Access

Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Upload methods
  • drag and drop
  • web widget
  • sync
  • WebDAV
  • FTPS
  • drag and drop
  • sync
  • WebDAV (third-party app)
CIFS: Drag and drop, or SFTP
NFS: Treat as local filespace
  • Drag and Drop
  • HTTP REST API
  • Treat as local filespace (third-party app)
Download files/make local copy
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Web access
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
View file contents in browser
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Web links for accessing files and folders 3 options (anyone, at U-M, specific people),
not web-searchable
Includes advanced functions:
  • Set custom URL
  • Require password
  • Set link expiration
  • Prevent downloading
  • Direct download link
5 options (anyone, at U-M, specific people),
including web-searchable
No
Yes
File editing from web app Any file type via Box Edit; MS Office files with Office Online Google file types; MS Office files using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM)
No
No
Offline access Using Box Sync Upon enabling offline access
No
No
Mobile access
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Desktop access Windows, Macintosh with Box Sync Windows, Macintosh with Drive Sync CIFS: Windows, Macintosh, Linux w/smbfs
NFS: UNIX, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac
Yes
Email to folder functionality
Yes
No
No
With API driven frontend.

Collaboration

Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
U-M shared/group accounts
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

with configuration
Who can be given access Anyone, inside and outside U-M Anyone, inside and outside U-M U-M only  
Collaborate via MCommunity groups
No
Yes
No
No
Ability to invite collaborators
Yes

to folders
Yes

to folders or files
No
No
Permission levels
  • co-owner
  • editor
  • viewer uploader
  • previewer uploader
  • viewer
  • previewer
  • uploader
  • edit
  • comment (includes suggest)
  • view
CIFS: Uses NTFS permissions
NFS: Uses UNIX POSIX permissions with system access
Granular permissions: See S3 documentation for details.
Who controls permissions Owners/co-owners/editors Owners/editors IT administrator Administrator
File ownership Owner of folder containing file File creator CIFS: Rights managed via NTFS ACLs
NFS: File management handled through POSIX rights
AWS IAM-configured
Off-boarding considerations Content owned by folder owner, whole folder structures can be moved to another account Content owned by file creator, who must transfer ownership for each file Permissions revoked by IT admin Permissions revoked by IT admin
Comments On files; within file for Box Notes Within Google files
No
No
Revision History/Versioning Up to 100 discrete versions saved Continuous history stream Snapshots may be enabled to hold limited history
Yes
Real-time simultaneous editing
Yes

Box Notes
Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) using Office Online
Yes

many file types: docs, sheets, slides, etc.
No
No

Other Features

Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Search
Yes

advanced point and click search of folder/file names, metadata, file contents
Yes

advanced search language for folder/file names, metadata, file contents
When indexed manually
No
View video
Yes
Yes
No
 
Antivirus protection
No
Yes
CIFS: Content has antivirus scanning
NFSv3: Content does not have AV
No
Download/Preview stats tracking
Yes
No
No
Yes

Using CloudWatch
Bookmarks (web-link file type)
Yes
No
No
Yes
Custom metadata on files
Yes
No
No
Yes
Integration Via features and add-ons With Google Apps With desktop With 3rd party software or via API
Integrates with Canvas
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Partner apps and add-ons
Yes
Yes
No
Yes

Research Storage Options

Other Features

Feature MiStorage Turbo
Best for
  • MiStorage Gold is best for storing bulk data requiring high performance using both the CIFS and NFS protocols
  • MiStorage Silver is best for storing bulk data at the lowest cost per GB using both the CIFS and NFS protocols
Turbo is best used for storing research data. It is tuned for large files (1MB or greater), but is capable of handling small files such as documents, spreadsheets, etc.
Available to all Students, Faculty, Staff Researchers
Cost Rates apply Rates apply
Minimum purchase quantity Increments of 1 gigabyte Increments of 1 terabyte
File access Desktop Desktop
Approved for sensitive data Via CIFS: 10 types
NFSv4+Kerberos capability is coming
Sensitive data compliant with NFSv4+Kerberos
Flux integration
Yes
Yes
Support 24 x 7 8a.m. - 5p.m. Monday - Friday

Services That Include Storage as an Adjunct

Some services include storage as part of their offering, but are not primarily storage services.

  • SharePoint, offered by LSA, is a specialized collaboration environment, designed for specific use cases, like workflow automation.
  • Canvas, offered by ITS, is a collaboration environment designed specifically for coursework. It integrates with some General Storage Services described here.
  • MiShare, offered by MCIT, is a file transfer service certified for Protected Health Information (HIPAA) files available to Health System users. Files placed there are deleted after 5 days.
  • Document Imaging Services, offered by ITS, provides complete, centralized document imaging and management services. These services include scanning paper documents and filing images in a secure environment for electronic retrieval, as well as paper document retention and/or destruction services.
  • MiWorkspace, offered by ITS, is a desktop support service that provides managed Windows and Macintosh desktop images that include access to several of the storage services on this page.
  • Advanced Research Technology Services, offered by ITS, provides storage solutions designed specifically for research.