SharePoint Vs Azure Files

Written for you by our Azure Practice team.

SharePoint is part of the Microsoft 365 suite and functions as an online collaboration platform. SharePoint has various functionalities such as:

  • SharePoint Sites
  • Intranets
  • File storage

Within SharePoint you have the ability to collaborate with team members and share documents across your organisation. Editing files is a real-time feature so you can view the changes as they are being made. SharePoint seamlessly integrates with other M365 applications such as Teams, making it the ideal tool for cross-collaboration.

Azure Files is a fully managed, cloud-based file server. Azure files functions similarly to an on-premises file share. One of the key benefits to Azure Files is that users don’t need to be local to access the files. They can be accessed from any device, wherever the user is located provided the drive is mounted.

SharePoint is part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. As part of this offering, 1TB of storage is included, along with an additional 10GB per user license. Additional storage must be purchased. At the time this article was published, the monthly cost was £0.17p/GB (subject to change).


A customer has 50 users and 5TB of data which needs to be readily available.

In a SharePoint only solution, the customer would be allocated 1TB of storage by default, plus 10GB per licensed user. With 50 users (50x10GB), this gives them a total of 1.5TB of usable space. They must then purchase another 3.5TB of capacity at £0.17p per GB.

£0.17 x 3500 = £595 per month.

Azure Files (Hot Tier – LRS) – In an Azure Files (Hot tier) solution, 3.5TB of data at rest will cost around £80 per month.

There are other costs to factor in with this solution:

  • VPN costs for site-to-site / point-to-site connection (If required)
  • Data egress (outbound) charges
  • Snapshots
  • Metadata
  • Operations (write, read, list operations)

Even with the above additional costs considered, the Azure Files option won’t typically exceed the cost a customer would incur by buying additional storage in SharePoint.

Both SharePoint and Azure Files have key benefits.

SharePoint allows dynamic collaboration between colleagues, co-editing along with being able to keep a centralised repository of your documents.

Azure Files is the fully managed file server, allowing you to access and edit your documents no matter where you are located.

Got any questions about Azure? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert Azure Practice Team, at [email protected]