Google Workspace and storage changes

Earlier this year, Google announced that unlimited storage for Google Workspace would no longer be offered to educational institutions. The Google Service Team (GST) has received questions about this upcoming change and some alternative backup options.

As the GST continues to work with Google to finalize the details, it offers the following updates for Google Workspace users:  

Google Storage Limits

NC State will be impacted by Google’s storage limits, which are expected to occur at least 12 months from now. This advance notice provides the GST with ample time to review current usage and work with users who have higher amounts of data stored in Drive. Once the storage limits go into effect, the GST will manage and monitor the university’s storage as an institution. Now is a good time for everyone to think about the impact of these changes. 

What You Can Do

  • Review your current storage usage. The Drive storage tool provides storage usage for Gmail, Drive and Photos. If you have items that are personal in nature (e.g., photos), you should move them to a personal Google account. Shared Drives should be used for work and project-related items and also for ease of ownership should you leave the university.
  • Delete multiple copies or versions of files. Only keep the most recent version of a file unless there is a business need for previous versions. Utilize Google’s versioning for non-native files to avoid unnecessary copies in your Drive.
  • Keep your Inbox and Drive clear of unneeded items. It’s a good idea to move email and files that are no longer needed to Trash. Items moved into Trash from both individual Workspace accounts and generic accounts will remain there for 30 days. During this time, you can retrieve items in Trash if needed. After 30 days, these files are deleted from your Trash and you are no longer able to retrieve them. To help meet public records requirements and e-discovery requests, “deleted” items go into Google Vault, which is NC State’s governance and e-discovery tool used by OIT Security and Compliance and NC State’s Office of General Counsel.

General Backup Considerations

  • It is important for students, faculty and staff to understand the security requirements for their data and its classification level in order to select the appropriate storage and backup storage solution. If you are unsure about your data’s classification level, review the Data Management Framework
  • To back up data that is stored on a university-owned computer or mobile device, OIT recommends that you contact your local IT support staff first to see what options they may support or offer. 
  • Faculty and staff have the option to purchase Code42 (formerly CrashPlan) under a license agreement. Code42 is an easy, self-service backup solution for employees to back up any university computer or mobile device to meet the special data protection and disaster recovery needs of educational institutions. For purchasing information, visit Software Licensing Management.
  • Research data often has different storage and retention requirements. See Research Storage – Office of Information Technology for more information.