Microsoft announced Stream 2.0, a major revamp of the Stream video portal, in the What’s New for Microsoft Stream and Video in Microsoft 365 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 starts with recordings of Teams meetings in October (learn more in What’s New for Teams Meetings).
This is a good move. Commenting on Mary-Jo Foley’s report on the Stream transition, Microsoft CVP Jeff Teper said, “This architecture allows us to innovate much faster in Stream and Teams (meetings recordings and more). There’s big things coming. ” The advantage of hindsight would be that the original vision for Stream as a ‘business video service’ available to anyone with a business email address, created a service that was separate from Office 365 and could not be bridged with the current platform. No big things could have happened if Stream had continued its current course.
Stream has always been an outlier within Office 365, especially when it comes to compliance. Connect to other Office 365 apps is loose rather than integrated. In the past year, Microsoft says demand for video storage has grown five times, driven largely by the growth in Teams recording of meetings. Demand for Stream to Service Teams meetings caused Microsoft to downgrade the resolution to 720p in March. At the same time, the number of Team recordings caused the storage allocated by Stream to tenants to be consumed at an alarming rate. The demand for video recordings integrated with Office 365 supports Microsoft’s decision to make this transition.
Benefits of using SharePoint
Microsoft highlights the many benefits of moving Stream storage to SharePoint Online. My take on the main positives include:
- SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business are basic workloads that are deployed in all Office 365 data center regions. By storing them to store recordings of Teams meetings, the problem that exists today is solved, with tenants in regions like South Africa having to decide whether to store recordings outside country-level data center regions. In addition, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business support multi-geo tenants, which means videos can be stored in the same data center region as their owners.
- In the long term, it should be possible to make Stream videos available for eDiscovery. Initially, text content such as transcriptions should be indexed by SharePoint and findable.
- Because Stream videos are treated like other files in SharePoint, you can assign retention labels and sensitivity labels to them. This is a great victory from the point of view of compliance.
- Guest user access is finally available to stream videos. The current Stream permission model will be replaced by standard SharePoint permissions (including Microsoft 365 Groups). Sharing videos generates links based on tenant and site sharing controls, including those set by sensitivity labels.
- Personal videos are stored in OneDrive for Business (for example, recordings of personal Teams chats), while group-owned videos, such as Teams channel meetings recordings, are stored in SharePoint Online.
- It should now be possible to back up Stream videos and other artifacts such as transcriptions and metadata using existing ISV capabilities for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
- Video storage now consumes quotas from SharePoint and OneDrive. From one perspective, this is better because Microsoft assigns more storage quotas to tenants and individual users that can be used for videos. On the other hand, videos will compete with documents and other items stored in SharePoint and OneDrive, and SharePoint Online’s storage quota may already be under pressure due to retention processing.
Stream continues to use Azure Media Services and other Azure services to process videos to generate playback files that are suitable for different devices and formats, and to generate automatic subtitles and video transcription. Only the storage changes.
Save team recordings
According to Office 365 MC222640 notification of September 23, tenants have the option to move meetings recordings to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business according to the following schedule:
- October 5, 2020: Tenants can update Team Meeting Policies to save meeting recordings to OneDrive and SharePoint instead of Stream. For example, to update the default Teams meeting policy to save 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:
Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -RecordingStorageMode “OneDriveForBusiness”
- October 31, 2020: Recordings of meetings in OneDrive and SharePoint receive support for English subtitles through the Teams transcription feature.
- Rollout between November 1 and November 15, 2020: All new team meeting recordings will be stored in OneDrive and SharePoint unless tenants delay this change by setting all Teams Meeting policies to use Stream for recordings.
- Q1 2021: No new recordings of meetings can be stored in Stream; All customers automatically store meeting recordings in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, even if teams meeting policies are set to Stream.
There are some limitations to early adoption of the new storage mechanism, but it’s clear that team meeting recordings are moving as fast as Microsoft can realize.
The approach described above only applies to new recordings. Existing records will remain in the Stream Azure service until Microsoft can migrate data from Azure to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
Moving other streaming videos
Stream is completing the migration of tenant content from the old Office 365 Video portal. In addition to having to move the recording of old Teams meetings by the end of H1 2021, Microsoft was unable to give dates when they could migrate all stream content. The migration will take place, probably in late 2021, after Microsoft has gone through the complexity of moving videos and metadata from one platform to another, and has ensured that existing links remain functional.
Given the extensive nature of migrations, it is possible that some tenants will still use Stream classic well into 2022. Unless, of course, people realize how many benefits they can gain from this migration and accelerate plans to move.