Teams First Office 365 Application to Use Stream 2.0

Stream to Use SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business

Microsoft announced Stream 2.0, a major refresh of the Stream video portal, in the What’s New for Microsoft Stream and Video in Microsoft 365 session at the virtual Ignite 2020 conference. The big news is that Stream is moving its video storage from the Stream Azure-based storage service to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. The move will start with recordings of Teams meetings in October (more details in What’s New for Teams Meeting Recordings).

This is a good move. Responding to Mary-Jo Foley’s report on the Stream transition, Microsoft CVP Jeff Teper said: “This architecture is enabling us to innovate much faster in Stream and Teams (meeting recordings and more). Big things coming.” The benefit of hindsight would say that the original vision for Stream as a “business video service” available to anyone with a business email address created a service that was detached from Office 365 that couldn’t be bridged with its current platform. No big things could happen had Stream continued on its present course.

Stream has always been an outlier inside Office 365, especially when it comes to compliance. Its connection to other Office 365 apps is loose rather than integrated. Over the last year, Microsoft says that the demand for video storage has grown five times, largely driven by the growth in Teams meeting recordings. The demand for Stream to service Teams meetings caused Microsoft to downgrade the resolution to 720p in March. At the same time, the number of Teams recordings caused the storage allocated by Stream to tenants to be consumed at an alarming rate. The demand for video recording integrated with Office 365 underpins Microsoft’s decision to make this transition.

Advantages of Using SharePoint

Microsoft points out many advantages of moving Stream storage to SharePoint Online. My take on the major plus points include:

  • SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business are base workloads deployed in all Office 365 datacenter region. Using them to store Teams meeting recordings gets rid of the problem which exists today where tenants in regions like South Africa must decide if they are happy to store recordings outside country-level datacenter regions. In addition, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business support multi-geo tenants, meaning that videos can be kept in the same datacenter region as their owners.
  • Over the long term, it should be possible to make Stream videos available for eDiscovery. Initially, text content like transcripts should be indexed by SharePoint and be discoverable.
  • Because Stream videos will be treated like other files in SharePoint, you’ll be able to assign retention labels and sensitivity labels to them. This is a big win from a compliance standpoint.
  • Guest user access will finally be available to Stream videos. The current Stream permissions model will be replaced by standard SharePoint permissions (including Microsoft 365 Groups). Sharing of videos will generate sharing links based on tenant and site sharing controls, including those set by sensitivity labels.
  • Personal videos will be stored in OneDrive for Business (for example, recordings of personal Teams chats), while group-owned videos like recordings of Teams channel meetings will be stored in SharePoint Online.
  • It should now be possible to backup Stream videos and other artefacts like transcripts and metadata using existing ISV capabilities for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
  • Storage of videos will now consume SharePoint and OneDrive quota. From one perspective, this is better because Microsoft assigns more storage quota to tenants and individual users that can be used for videos. On the downside, videos will compete with documents and other items stored in SharePoint and OneDrive, and SharePoint Online storage quota might already be under pressure due to retention processing.

Stream will continue to use Azure Media Services and other Azure services to process videos to generate playback files suitable for different devices and formats and to generate the automatic captions and video transcript. It’s only the storage that changes.

Storing Teams Recordings

According to Office 365 notification MC222640 of 23 September, tenants will have the option to move meeting recordings to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business according to the following schedule:

  • October 5, 2020 (subsequently moved to October 19): Tenants can update Teams meeting policies to have meeting recordings saved to OneDrive and SharePoint instead of Stream. For example, to update the default Teams meeting policy to store videos in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business, use the latest version of the Teams PowerShell module to connect to Teams and then to the Skype for Business Online endpoint, and then run this command:

  • October 31, 2020: Meeting recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint will have support for English captions via the Teams transcription feature.
  • Rolling out between November 1-15, 2020: All new Teams meeting recordings will be saved to OneDrive and SharePoint unless tenants delay this change by setting all Teams Meeting policies to use Stream for recordings.
  • Q1 2021: No new meeting recordings can be saved to Stream; all customers will automatically have meeting recordings saved to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online even if Teams meeting policies are set to Stream.

Some limitations exist in early adoption of the new storage mechanism, but it’s obvious that Teams meeting recordings are moving as quickly as Microsoft can make this happen.

The approach described above only applies to new recordings. Existing records remain in the Stream Azure service until Microsoft can migrate data from Azure to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

Moving Other Stream Videos

Stream is in the process of completing the migration of tenant content from the old Office 365 Video portal. Apart from saying that old Teams meeting recording should move in late H1 2021, Microsoft was not able to give dates for when they will be able to migrate all content from Stream. The migration will happen, probably in late 2021, after Microsoft has figured out the complexities of moving videos and metadata from one platform to another, including making sure that existing links remain functional.

Given the extended nature of migrations, it’s possible that some tenants will still be using Stream classic well into 2022. Unless of course people realize just how many advantages they can gain through this migration and accelerate plans to move.

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Tony Redmond has written thousands of articles about Microsoft technology since 1996. He covers Office 365 and associated technologies for Petri.com and is also the lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.