Storage Implementation Steering Team updates

As a result of Google’s announcement to discontinue unlimited storage for higher education institutions, the university formed several committees to evaluate current use, alternatives and best practices for data storage on campus. Earlier this spring the university’s Strategic Storage Task Force released seven recommendations to move forward with storage changes that are summarized below and can be reviewed in detail in the FINAL Strategic Storage Task Committee Report

  • Recommendation 1: Improve the usability of OIT Research Storage to support increased use.
  • Recommendation 2: OIT and college IT offices work individually with the heaviest users of Google storage to develop plans to optimize their storage use.
  • Recommendation 3: Implement storage quotas for all faculty, staff and students [with a focus on minimizing impact on current users] by Aug. 1, 2023.
  • Recommendation 4: Develop a communications plan, supported by documentation and tools, to support reduction of Google storage use.
  • Recommendation 5: Develop a multi-year implementation plan for the broader campus community to reduce its usage of Google storage and increase use of Research Storage, pilot in summer and communicate this plan at the beginning of the fall 2023 semester.
  • Recommendation 6: Make short-term purchases of storage from Google to support the implementation timeline.
  • Recommendation 7: Develop a long-term storage strategy for NC State.

A Storage Implementation Steering Team was formed to guide the implementation of these recommendations. The team includes members from OIT who represent Google Workspace and Research Storage and members from academic and support units, including the Research Facilitation Service.

The team has begun work on Recommendations 2, 3 and 5: 

  • Over the next few weeks and months, information will be shared with campus, including how quotas will be rolled out and the assurance to faculty, staff and students that the initial quotas set by Aug.1 will not require any user to reduce their storage. This approach will allow campus to slow down its storage growth while IT staff review what is stored in Google along with alternative solutions if necessary.  
  • Over the next 12 to 24 months, IT staff and the Google Service Team will work with users who have large storage needs to better understand what type of data they are storing (sensitivity, purpose) and consider alternatives for storage locations.

Google Workspace is for work-related purposes and users should continue to review their file space for any personal files or photos and move them to a personal account. In addition, users should continue to clean up and “trash” emails or files that are no longer required to be retained or of a transitory nature.