ITS Storage Services

Storage Options Detail Comparison

Prefer a more concise comparison?

On this page

Office Document Storage Options

A comparison of options for storing files for teaching, administration and research. These tables show features for commodity services:

Basic Features

U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Best for Collaborating on all document types, in and out of U-M Simultaneously editing office-style documents, in and out of U-M CIFS: For integrated Windows storage
NFS: For data mounted on Unix servers
Highly redundant and available file/object storage.
Cost No charge to use No charge to use Charge depends on features selected
Storage allocation Unlimited Unlimited Variable Unlimited
File size limit 15 GB 5 TB Unlimited 5 TB
Store any file type? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Available on off-campus networks Yes Yes with VPN Yes
Approved for sensitive data 9 types 6 types Via CIFS: 10 types
Via NFS: None
8 types (M Cloud) 9 types (M Cloud - GovCloud)

File Access

Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Upload methods
  • drag and drop
  • web widget
  • sync
  • WebDAV
  • FTPS
  • drag and drop
  • sync
  • WebDAV (third-party app)
CIFS: Drag and drop, or SFTP
NFS: Treat as local filespace
  • Drag and Drop
  • Treat as local filespace (third-party app)
Download files / make local copy Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web access Yes Yes No Yes
View file contents in browser Yes Yes No Yes
Web links for accessing files and folders 3 options (anyone, at U-M, specific people),
not web-searchable
Includes advanced functions:
  • Set custom URL
  • Require password
  • Set link expiration
  • Prevent downloading
  • Direct download link
5 options (anyone, at U-M, specific people),
including web-searchable
No Yes
File editing from web app Any file type via Box Edit; MS Office files with Office Online Google file types; MS Office files using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM) No No
Offline access Using Box Sync Upon enabling offline access No No
Mobile access Yes Yes No Yes
Desktop access Windows, Macintosh with Box Sync Windows, Macintosh with Drive Sync CIFS: Windows, Macintosh, Linux w/smbfs
NFS: UNIX, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac
Email to folder functionality Yes No No With API driven frontend.


Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
U-M shared / group accounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
with configuration
Who can be given access Anyone, inside and outside U-M Anyone, inside and outside U-M U-M only
Collaborate via MCommunity groups No Yes No No
Ability to invite collaborators Yes
to folders
to folders or files
No No
Permission levels
  • co-owner
  • editor
  • viewer uploader
  • previewer uploader
  • viewer
  • previewer
  • uploader
  • edit
  • comment (includes suggest)
  • view
CIFS: Uses NTFS permissions
NFS: Uses UNIX POSIX permissions with system access
Granular permissions: See S3 documentation for details.
Who controls permissions Owners/co-owners/editors Owners/editors IT administrator Administrator
File ownership Owner of folder containing file File creator CIFS: Rights managed via NTFS ACLs
NFS: File management handled through POSIX rights
AWS IAM-configured
Off-boarding considerations Content owned by folder owner, whole folder structures can be moved to another account Content owned by file creator, who must transfer ownership for each file Permissions revoked by IT admin Permissions revoked by IT admin
Comments On files; within file for Box Notes Within Google files No No
Revision History / Versioning Up to 100 discrete versions saved Continuous history stream Snapshots may be enabled to hold limited history Yes
Real-time simultaneous editing Yes
Box Notes
Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) using Office Online
many file types: docs, sheets, slides, etc.
No No

Other Features

Feature U-M Box U-M Google Drive MiStorage Amazon S3
Search Yes
advanced point and click search of folder/file names, metadata, file contents
advanced search language for folder/file names, metadata, file contents
When indexed manually No
View video Yes Yes No
Antivirus protection No Yes CIFS: Content has antivirus scanning
NFSv3: Content does not have AV
Download/Preview stats tracking Yes No No Yes
Using CloudWatch
Bookmarks (web-link file type) Yes No No Yes
Custom metadata on files Yes No No Yes
Integration Via features and add-ons With Google Apps With desktop With 3rd party software or via API
Integrates with Canvas Yes Yes No Yes
Partner apps and add-ons Yes Yes No Yes


Research Storage Options

Other Features

Feature MiStorage Turbo
Best for
  • MiStorage Gold is best for storing bulk data requiring high performance using both the CIFS and NFS protocols
  • MiStorage Silver is best for storing bulk data at the lowest cost per GB using both the CIFS and NFS protocols
    Turbo is best used for storing research data. It is tuned for large files (1MB or greater), but is capable of handling small files such as documents, spreadsheets, etc.
    Available to all Students, Faculty, Staff Researchers
    Cost Rates apply Rates apply
    Minimum purchase quantity Increments of 1 gigabyte Increments of 1 terabyte
    File access Desktop Desktop
    Approved for sensitive data Via CIFS: 10 types
    NFSv4+Kerberos capability is coming
    Sensitive data compliant with NFSv4+Kerberos
    Flux integration Yes Yes
    Support 24 x 7 8a.m. - 5p.m. Monday - Friday


    Services That Include Storage as an Adjunct

    Some services include storage as part of their offering, but are not primarily storage services.