Comparison of Document Management & Collaboration Tools

Duke provides a number of online storage and collaboration services to the Duke community. 

Faculty, students, and staff can take advantage of one, some, or all of these tools.

If you are not sure which one to choose, please use the same service as the rest of your team.


Below is a brief comparison of available storage and/or collaboration services at Duke.


Services available to ALL Faculty, Staff, & Students
 Features OneDrive for Business CIFS
Recommended UseWorking on a project with multiple people in different physical locations 
Sharing documents securely and tracking version updates
Syncing files between computer and mobile devices
Working on a project with multiple people in different physical locations
Sharing Microsoft Office files-types during group projects with internal Office 365 users only
Integrates seamlessly with Windows operating systems devices (PC, tablets, and Windows Phone)
 Storing and Backing up personal data independent of your local computer in the event that you are using a library computer or virtual computing lab machine
Default storage space50 GB* 1 TB 5 GB*
Maximum file size50 GB**10 GBEqual to current available storage space
Connection RequirementsInternetInternetDuke Network or Duke VPN
Version tracking / HistoryYesYesNo
Offline syncYesYesNo
Sync to multiple mobile devicesYesWindows, iOS, Android No
File previewYesYes; Office 365 apps - automatically launchesNo
256-bit encrypted storage & transfer YesYesNo; VPN client is required to encrypt
Role-based access levels for sharingYesYes; limited to "can edit" and "can view"No
Email to folder functionalityYesNoNo
Full-text searchYesYesNo
Available after graduationAccount must be transitioned to personal account before graduationNo; If OneDrive device sync is used a local copy of the files are retainedYes; available for 1 year
Granular permissions at folder and file levelYesYes; limited to "can edit" and "can view"Yes
Custom URLs for shared foldersYesYesNo
Cross-platformWindows, MacWindows, MacWindows, Mac, Linux
Approved for Sensitive DataYesNoNo

 An asterisk (*) denotes services where requests for quota increase can be sent to OIT for approval.

 Two asterisks (**) denote how Box has application specific upload limits, please see the following applications to review their upload limits:

  • Box Mobile: 15GB
  • Box Drive: 15GB
  • Box Sync: 15GB
  • Email Uploads: 50MB

 Please be aware that these upload limits are subject to change by Box without notice.


Services for ONLY Faculty & Staff
 FEATURESNAS Protected NetworkDepartmental Share
Recommended UseStoring and Backing up data where reliable data access and read/write performance is crucialStoring and sharing sensitive data, as classified by the IT Security Office Storing and Backing up data where reliable data access and read/write performance is crucial
Default Storage Space Based on amount of space purchased Based on amount of space purchased Based on amount of space purchased
Maximum file size 16 TB 16 TB 16 TB
Connection Requirements Duke Network or Duke VPN Duke Network or Duke VPN Duke Network or Duke VPN
Version tracking / history Backups available per request to OIT Backups available per request to OIT Backups available per request to OIT
Offline Sync No No No
Sync to multiple devices No No No
File Preview No No No
256-bit encrypter storage & transfer No No No
Role-based access levels for sharing Yes Yes Yes
Email to folder functionality No No No
Full-text search No No No
Available after termination No No No
Cost $/GB $/GB $/GB
Granular permissions at folder and file level Yes Yes Yes
Custom URL's for shared folders No No No
Cross-platform Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Approved for Sensitive Data No Yes No



  • Duke’s Box is a cloud-based storage and collaboration service for all Duke University and Duke Medicine faculty, staff and students. With Box, users can access, store and share content securely with Duke and non-Duke users — anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  • CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a proven and reliable protocol for managing personal home directories. A personal home directory allows you to store and manage files for your personal, private use on Duke's centrally-managed storage infrastructure.
  • Microsoft OneDrive for Business allows users to store, sync, share files and collaborate with others at Duke online. It also allows you to use the mobile version of Microsoft Office, available free through Duke's site license with Microsoft, so you can edit, share and collaborate on documents using your mobile device or tablet.
  • NAS – OIT has a NAS (CIFS or NFS) offering which by allowing connectivity via the network is often used for departments/schools as it can be accessed directly from outside of the datacenter.  NAS utilizes the IP network instead of the SAN to allow access to the storage. Additionally NAS allows the storage to be shared by multiple clients. Departmental Share uses the same technology.
  • The Protected Network is a resource for storage and analysis of Sensitive research data. The network is separated virtually from the general Duke network and has more extensive security protections. It comprises dedicated storage and virtual machines (VMs), and requires specific authorization from the Campus ITSO for access.


Article number: KB0026081

Valid to: September 27, 2024