Avoid the Hidden Costs of SharePoint Online

보호 December 12, 2022

Hey, did you know that, unlike OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online comes with limits? It does, and they are expensive if you exceed them. Let me show you how expensive.

There are multiple articles out there warning against the “hidden costs” of cloud. Because of these limits, Microsoft 365’s SharePoint Online has some costs that, while not hidden exactly, might be overlooked or underestimated.

It turns out that, with SharePoint Online, you’re not just paying for the SaaS solution – you’re also paying for the cost of storing your SharePoint data in the Microsoft Cloud. To start,  your organization gets 1TB of storage space + 10 GB per user. Any space used above that comes at a premium charge.

There’s another “gotcha” in there. Microsoft counts all files – and all versions of all files – against your storage limit. This means that the amount of storage used by your files might be  several times larger than the size of the files. To add to that, Microsoft also counts files in the Recycle Bin (and all their versions) against your storage limit.

How bad are the overage charges? Let’s take a look.


Let’s start with a medium-sized enterprise and say you have 1,500 users. That comes with 15.6 TB of SharePoint storage. Let’s assume you’re starting with 10 TB of SharePoint data, and you grow your data at 10% per month.

You’ll see your first overage charge 6 months in. It will be $68.27 a month – not a big deal, right? But next month it will be $309.05 a month. At 10 months in, it will be nearly $1,200 a month, and at the one year point the overage charge will be $1,926.02 per month. This means that during your first year, you’ll have paid a total of $6,466.46 of “over limit” charges.

Keep in mind that the costs shown above are over and beyond the per-month charge that your SharePoint Online subscription already costs you.

The rub in this is that organizations usually don’t need to have all that data accessible in SharePoint in real-time – but, without other options, you’re forced to keep it there and keep incurring the extra costs.

Imagine if you could offload that data to a secure backup location for a fraction of the cost? You would keep the most important data online in SharePoint and, if you wanted, you could leave stubs behind in SharePoint for everything else. The backup of your data would be safe, fully-indexed, discoverable, and could be used to meet data retention requirements for compliance.

Oh yeah, did I mention that we are going to save you boatloads of $$$...?

This is exactly what you can do with the active archiving features included in Veritas Alta™ SaaS Protection (formerly “NetBackup™ SaaS Protection).

You’re already familiar with the idea of archiving – the concept of moving unused data to less expensive storage, often with the disadvantage of limiting access to the archived data.

So, what is an “active archive”? With active archiving from Veritas Alta SaaS Protection, you can migrate your older and less-used data to a separate, less-expensive cloud storage tier. You can then replace the original file with a “stub file”. The stub file is really just a pointer to the file’s new location. Veritas Alta SaaS Protection’s stub files average about 4 KB in size.

Premium SharePoint Online storage costs are around $0.10 per GB per month, Instead, you could pay closer to $0.03 per GB per month – plus you’ll get all the additional goodness that comes with Veritas Alta SaaS Protection.

How much storage space could you save? Well, if you had 1,000 files that are 10 MB each (10 GB in total), the stub files that replace them would total 4 MB. 4MB is 0.0004 percent of 10 GB – a huge reduction in the SharePoint Online storage space you’re using.

And even better, the stub files will still allow users to access the original data in the same SharePoint Online interface with which they’re already familiar! It’s even possible to configure things so that the archiving is mostly transparent to the end-users.

If you’re already a Veritas Alta SaaS Protection customer, this is a great additional use case for the product. Many customers are finding that the savings they benefit from are more than enough to cover the cost of Veritas Alta SaaS Protection.

If you’re not an Veritas Alta SaaS Protection customer yet, this could provide you a great benefit that will likely pay for itself AND comes with our industry-leading backup and recovery solution for Microsoft 365 at no additional cost!

It’s a win however you look at it.

If you’d like to know more about how Veritas Alta SaaS Protection can optimize your SharePoint Online storage costs, read our solution brief on the subject or contact us today to schedule a deeper discussion or a demo!

Dan Gagliardi
Director of Product Management