Google Drive, a cloud server?

The roll-out of Drive File Stream in the summer of 2017 significantly enhanced the potential of Google Drive, allowing organizations to use it as a single storage for their files instead of a traditional server.

Sharing & collaboration

Google Drive and the Docs embedded office suite first allowed organizations to exploit new ways of collaborating. With the reinforcement of functionalities, some structures have been able to jump the step and free themselves from a classic server by working 100% on the web.

Also read: G Suite better than Office 365

But overall, when it comes to data storage, Drive is a complement to collaboration. Data mass, large files (video, graphics, etc.), business software, backup policy, etc. require the maintenance of a classic architecture.

Team Drives

In autumn 2016, Google implemented Team Drive. Until then, storage space was managed at the user level (in particular, the data was the property of a particular user). Team drives are similar to a traditional server disk concept with content ownership and sharing rights at the organization and team level. While sharing is – for the moment – less granular than in “My Drive”, team drives simplify data and access management.

Drive File Stream

Deployed in the summer of 2017, Drive File Stream is a client that installs on the computer, displaying Drive as a mounted disk. It thus gives access to the entire folder and file tree structure as seen by the user in Drive from his browser. The latter can then open the files with his usual software, as before, the files being downloaded on demand (streaming).

The difference between the historical synchronization client Google Drive and Drive File Stream is that employees have access to all the data without it being synchronized on their computer, i.e. without consuming disk space.

Drive, a 100% cloud server

With streaming, offline mode and the ability to work “as before”, Drive File Stream greatly simplifies the migration to G Suite. An entire enterprise server – even if it is several terabytes – can be migrated to Drive. The structure is reproduced with the team drives. Employees continue to work and use their software as before.

An organization can thus greatly simplify its IT setup, which translates into greater simplicity and reduced licensing and maintenance costs.

Also read: Ransomwares, a danger for Drive?