Data storage slimming focus turns to Google

Nicely done, Cyclone data storage users. Tasked back in December with reducing the university's storage in CyBox 30% by June 30 to avoid overage penalties, employees and students responded in a big way. From 1,800 terabytes (TB) last fall, current data storage has dropped to 793 TB, well below the 1,200 TB quota imposed by the service, Box, as a strategy to rein in its education clients.

Due to the effort of CyBox users and IT professionals, a phased plan for individual CyBox storage quotas never even had to be implemented.

While there has been a steady increase in the university's data storage in Google products (Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos) since December, Jason Shuck said the decrease in CyBox storage hasn't matched the increase in Google storage. Shuck manages the systems operations team in information technology services, which oversees data storage needs.

"The campus' response was phenomenal. A drop of that size -- surpassing a petabyte -- likely means people were deleting files they didn't need, which is what we asked them to do," he said. "We hope that's a behavior that sticks around -- for all our storage options."

And now, Google

And it's a behavior Shuck's team is asking the campus community to return to for storage in Google. Taking Box's lead, Google has announced storage quotas for its higher education clients based on institutional size. Effective July 1, 2022, Iowa State's quota will be 221 TB, significantly below the 1,821 TB it uses now.

Shuck said Google announced storage quotas for its business customers in November, so the change for education clients wasn't a surprise. The low threshold was. Google hasn't announced yet what happens to accounts exceeding their limit next summer, and Shuck's team is pursuing more information about potential impacts on Iowa State.

Until they know more from Google, Shuck's team is asking members of the university community to:

  • Delete files in Google you don't need.
  • Hold off on migrating files from CyBox to Google.

He said his team will share more information from Google with the university community when it receives it.

OneDrive remains an option

OneDrive, a data storage option that's part of the university's contract with Microsoft, remains an option for departments and units. OneDrive is available to all students, faculty and staff. Migration tools are available and Shuck encourages employees who are considering use of Microsoft OneDrive to contact their IT professional or the Solution Center for assistance.


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