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NDSU Cloud Storage Provides Opportunities to Work Remotely and Share Data

Cloud-based storage -- the ability to store and share data online -- is a very useful tool to those who find themselves working from a remote location or collaboratively. NDSU now has two cloud storage options: Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive Pro. These two options are very similar and provide a reasonable amount of storage space: 30GB for Google Drive and 25GB for SkyDrive Pro.

Google Drive is just one in a set of tools created by Google for online use. This 30GB of space can act as a storage area accessible from both work and home, and as a space to share documents with others. Google Drive can be accessed by either a Web browser or a client installed on your computer/portable device. To access from the Web, visit the Google home page, click on the "sign in" button in the upper right corner and log in with your NDSU credentials. If you have not yet set up your NDSU account with Google, follow the NDSU instructions.

Learn more about Google Drive. If you've used Google Docs or other Google services with a gmail account, you'll be asked to choose your or account at login.

Microsoft SkyDrive Pro offers 25GB of space that also can be used for both online storage and file sharing. It can be accessed from a tab in your Office 365 Webmail, through a downloadable app on your computer/portable device or through features integrated into Microsoft Office 2013. As with Google Drive, files can be shared with and edited by others. Due to its utilization of SharePoint, the SkyDrive Pro integration inside MS Office may appear somewhat confusing.  When saving a document in Office 2013, SkydriveSkyDrive Pro will appear as a SharePoint icon titled "North Dakota University System."

For additional information, visit the MS Office SkyDrive Pro site or the information on how to start using your team site, SkyDrive Pro, and Newsfeed to share documents and ideas.

While both options are similar in operation and offerings, how you currently use online tools will be the best barometer as to which one will fit your needs. If you primarily collaborate with others using Google Docs or other Google tools, Google Drive may be your best choice due to its familiarity and integration with other Google products. If you are more accustomed to using SharePoint and/or Microsoft Office to work with others or are not using any Google tools, SkyDrive Pro may be the better bet. With direct access to it from Office 2013 and the online NDSU email portal, SkyDrive Pro is easy to access and one less password to remember.

However, the real benefit is that you don’t’ have to choose; you can have both. Even if you only use one for collaboration, the other can be used for storage. With a combined total of 55GB of storage space, you can easily do your work and also keep backup copies of your most important files.

Learn more about Collaboration and Storage options and how to choose one.

Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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