How the New Stream Handles Storage Quotas

Teams Meeting Recordings a Big Demand on the System

Microsoft is in the middle of building the “new Stream.” Part of the transition is to move video storage away from a dedicated Stream repository in Azure to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Office 365 tenants can move recordings of new Teams meetings to OneDrive for Business now with the transition of existing videos to the new Stream when it becomes available during 2021.

Because it has its own repository, the classic Stream controls its storage. Tenants receive a base amount of 500 GB plus 0.5 GB per licensed user (all Office 365 enterprise users are licensed for Stream). A tenant with 1,000 users therefore receives 1.5 TB of Stream storage. If more storage is needed, it can be bought from Microsoft.

Teams Recordings Drive Stream Storage

According to Microsoft sources, a large percentage of Stream storage is consumed by Teams meeting recordings. With over 500,000 users, Accenture runs the world’s largest Teams deployment, consuming 350 million minutes of audio meetings and 90 million minutes of video meetings monthly. Heavily influenced by the change of working habits due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the growth in online meetings is representative of many organizations, and 115 million monthly active Teams users generate lots of meetings. Many meetings are recorded, and the amount of Stream storage used by Teams continues to grow. This is one of the reasons why Microsoft chose to move Teams recordings to OneDrive for Business as the first step in the transition to the new Stream.

Removing Old Recordings

Meeting recordings are most useful soon after an event. Once people have had a chance to review a recording, the value of keeping most recordings declines over time. Classic Stream has no way to age out old recordings, and while Microsoft is working on a policy to expire Teams meetings automatically after a set period, that feature isn’t yet available.

The net result is that quota consumption continues unabated unless meeting organizers (the owners of the recordings) proactively remove old recordings. This doesn’t happen in the real world.

Quotas in the New Stream

In the new Stream, recordings are stored in the OneDrive for Business account of the person who initiates the recording. The question then arises about what happens to the storage quota assigned to tenants for classic Stream?

The answer is that the quota doesn’t transfer. Videos stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business count against the tenant’s SharePoint storage quota (for videos owned by a Microsoft 365 group) or an individual’s OneDrive storage quota. Although this seems unfair, it’s not in practice because Microsoft makes large amounts of storage available to OneDrive for Business accounts, including “beyond 1 TB, to unlimited” for enterprise users. Given that most Stream storage is consumed by Teams recordings and these files will now be in OneDrive for Business, no need exists to transfer the classic Stream quota.

You might still want to run reports to check on OneDrive for Business storage, just in case some users need an increase in their assigned quota. The demand on quota should reduce after Microsoft introduces the policy to age out old recordings. In the interim, you can make sure that everyone can store all the meeting recordings they need by bumping the default OneDrive storage quota from 1 TB to 5 TB by editing the setting in the SharePoint admin center (Figure 1).

Setting a default storage limit for OneDrive for Business accounts
Figure 1: Setting a default storage limit for OneDrive for Business accounts

Keep up-to-date with the transition from Classic Stream to the New Stream by subscribing to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We make sure that you master the detail.

5 Replies to “How the New Stream Handles Storage Quotas”

  1. I personnaly think it is unfair. They should at least transfer Stream storage to SharePoint. A lot of business use stream for video training. Now we will need to move to SharePoint and I don’t want people to store training video in their OneDrive. Event Teams project meetings should be stored in SharePoint. Yes, right now it will be stored in OneDrive’s meeting organizer because most people are not aware about channel meetings, but when they will, a proportion of theses meetings will consume SharePoint storage….

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