information management, SkyDrive Pro Enters Mix in Cloud Data Storage CompetitionAs we predicted, the competition for increased storage in the cloud is on. We just didn’t know it would happen this fast.

First Box, Now SkyDrive Pro

Just a week after Box announced it increased the GB bucket for cloud data storage for its business clients, Microsoft said it’s pretty much doing the same thing with its SkyDrive Pro. The name of the game here is expanding GBs while maintaining security as businesses use enterprise collaboration for document and file sharing in the cloud and on mobile devices.

Box, which touts its 20 million users in 180,000 businesses, said it made two major updates: doubling the free storage in its personal plan from 5 GB to 10 GB, and the debut of a starter-edition that gets users into the Box for US$ 5 per month. For Box, it was the first time in three years it made such significant developments to storage capabilities to the enterprise.

Microsoft’s answer this week? It unveiled three improvements to SkyDrive Pro for Office 365 business subscribers:

  1. Each user now gets 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage space (up from 7 GB).
  2. Administrators can now increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage beyond the default 25 GB up to 50 GB and 100 GB.
  3. With the new “Shared with Me” view, users will be able to easily find documents others have shared with them.

More GBs, the Merrier

Microsoft nearly quadruples its default SkyDrive Pro storage. In Office 365, that means users get:

  • 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage
  • 25 GB of email storage
  • 5 GB for each site mailbox created
  • And the total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB times the number of users)

Microsoft’s program allows users to buy additional storage at US$ 0.20 each GB per month and goes into a tenant's pooled storage. It can then be allocated to specified end users from 25 GB to 50 GB or 100 GB.

Is Google Next?

Google is likely to be the next moving into increased cloud storage features. This month, Google added automated encryption services to its cloud storage offerings. Google Cloud Storage now automatically encrypts all data before it is written to disk, and it’s free. 

Also, Google this month announced the release of Differential Snapshots for Persistent Disks (PD) and a new option for sending email from Google Compute Engine. It’s going to result, Google says, in faster snapshot times, lowered storage usage and lower costs.