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Microsoft Previews OneDrive for Business Administrator Portal

Microsoft this week announced a preview of a new "OneDrive Admin Center" Web portal for IT pros that manage OneDrive for Business cloud-based storage and sharing implementations.

Microsoft had indicated back in September that the Office 365 Admin Center would be getting a dedicated console for administering OneDrive for Business clients before year's end. It would have graphical controls on top of the PowerShell ones, Microsoft promised. Apparently, the OneDrive Admin Center preview is that new dedicated console.

The announcement, by Stephen Rose, director of OneDrive for Business, indicated that Microsoft plans to make the OneDrive Admin Center generally available "later next month," where it will be accessible from the Office 365 Admin Center portal.

The OneDrive Admin Center portal has sections labeled "Home," "Sharing," "Sync," "Storage," "Device Access" and "Compliance." Here's what's enabled by those sections:

  • The Home section has a dashboard showing overall OneDrive for Business use statistics.
  • Sharing lets IT pros control OneDrive for Business external sharing by end users.
  • Sync permits restrictions on the syncing of specific file types on OneDrive for Business, and IT pros also can block syncing on "non-domain joined PCs."
  • Storage provides the abilty to set default storage limits, as well as how long documents get retained.
  • Device Access permits limits to be set based on the device or network used.
  • Compliance provides access to controls in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center portal.

Right now, the preview is accessible to "First Release customers," Rose indicated, so access to the preview likely depends on how organizations get their Office 365 updates. When it's deployed in an organization, the OneDrive Admin Center will be accessible by a browser via the https://admin.onedrive.com link, Rose explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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