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To be frank, the answer is no!

But, I think the question is a good opportunity to dig into the thinking around this problem a bit more. To get specific, there are two different scenarios people generally ask about.

  1. Can I keep files “in sync” between my file server, and Teams/OneDrive/SharePoint so that people see the same data from their mapped drives as they do in their apps? (Answer: No)
  2. Can I use a sync tool to migrate data one time into Teams/OneDrive/SharePoint, and then cut people over to it? (Answer: Yes, with caveats)

You cannot and should not think about trying to keep files “in sync” between a file server and something like Teams/SharePoint. When you make the move to one of these cloud platforms, you MOVE the files.

The OneDrive sync client is a cloud-to-client sync tool, not a cloud-to-server-to-client sync tool, and no other sync tool exists that will do this for you.

If you move files to the cloud, you don’t need them on your file server. So besides being unnecessary, it’s also just not possible.

SharePoint/Teams is not a file server

Always remember that SharePoint (which powers Teams) is NOT a file server, it is a modern collaboration platform built on the web. SharePoint does things that your file system never could. And it also doesn’t do things that your file system could.

Example: a Windows Server file system can keep super long file paths with deep and complex folders and permissions structures. SharePoint/Teams doesn’t do that; you will run into hard limitations. For example, if your current file structure has nested folders with a long and complex name you will need to clean those up before you migrate. Therefore, your structure needs to be wide and flat, not structured and deep.

But here’s the thing–most of the time we find that only a small handful of the server directories are even used, and often there is a mapped drive or a shortcut directly to a folder that contains the bulk of the content we want to work with anyway–so why not just flatten out the structure?

Besides that, research has shown that the time to navigate to data is an exponential curve when you add layers upon layers of folders. Navigating 4-5 levels takes almost twice as long for people as navigating 2-3. In the cloud, you don’t navigate, you search.

So it is better to reorganize your data anyway and start searching instead of navigating–moving to SharePoint/Teams/OneDrive is a good excuse to get started on the cleanup project.

SharePoint can also do things like versioning, retention, coauthoring, sharing links with expiry and permissions, metadata, workflows with Power Automate, and more.