How Universities Are Responding to Google’s Storage Limits
Since the announcement, universities have had to find ways to comply with these limits and consider alternative cloud or on-premises storage options. Many institutions are implementing stricter storage guidelines for individual users and trimming the fat where they can, including by establishing or tightening rules for retiring inactive user accounts.
To meet its overall quota, Iowa State began enforcing a 3-gigabyte quota for all individual Drive accounts. Any accounts exceeding that will move to read-only status until they meet the quota. A message across the top of the Drive site alerts Iowa State employees who are near or over their personal storage limits.
Lewis & Clark college has taken a similar approach, capping faculty, staff, students, departmental accounts and departmental shared drives at certain gigabyte limits to stay within storage quotas. To arrive at a cap for each group, the university analyzed the data consumed by each group and distributed the available 100TB accordingly.
The University of Michigan also announced storage limits for users. Active users will receive 250GB or storage, while alumni and retirees will have just 15GB to use. The decision reportedly has led to some frustration among current students and alumni.
Meanwhile, despite its need for much more than 100TB, the University of Hawai‘i is set to stick with Google, given the major lift (and cost) that would be required to move storage on-premises or to a different cloud provider. The university announced in the fall that all faculty and staff will be provided with Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses, which includes an additional 20GB for each licensed user on top of the 100TB of pooled cloud storage.
Maximizing Google Storage Space and Finding Alternatives
CDW Education Amplified Services can help universities make the most out of Google Workspace for Education even with the storage limits. Gopher for Drive helps organizations understand storage consumption on their domains, developing reports on overall and individual storage usage and offering shared file details.
Google’s limits may also have universities considering other storage options, and storage platforms with consumption-based models may be more suitable for some. In such a model, universities pay for a base level of storage capacity, then pay for what is used beyond that level. The advantage is that you have more flexibility to scale storage as needed and control exactly how much you pay. Storage as a Service models have a similar pay-per-use structure where you pay only for what you use, and the vendor takes care of the lifecycle management.