Preparing for the End of Unlimited Storage

Have you read about the changes coming soon to Google Workspace? Unlimited Storage in Google Workspace for Education is ending July 1, 2022. School districts with less than 20,000 students will be capped at 100 TBS of pooled storage if they are on the Google Workspace for Education Fundamental edition.

What counts towards your pooled storage? All of your users (active and suspended) and all of their data (including but not necessarily limited to data from Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail). Schools will not be able to purchase additional storage. Schools needing more storage will have to delete files and users to reduce their storage footprint and get under their pooled storage limit or purchase Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or the Teaching and Learning upgrade.

The changes are coming. Is your district ready?

Start Planning NOW

Find Out How Much Storage You’re Using

You can start to get a sense for how your district will be impacted by taking a look at how much storage you’re using right now. Begin by using reports in the Google Admin Console and the Google Workspace Storage Calculator to find out exactly how much storage you’re currently using. Once you determine your usage across your entire domain, you can also determine which users in your district are using the most storage. This report can be found in the Admin Console or in GAM.

These reports help you see how much storage you’re using, who’s using it, and how far away you are from the 100 TB pooled storage limit. In addition, you can even start to forecast how fast your storage is growing and when you may need to take action.

Do You Have Enough Storage for the 2022-2023 School Year?

Do you have enough storage for the upcoming school year? Use these reports to get a sense for how much data you’re using while also forecasting how your storage needs may grow in the next year. On first glance your district may appear to be well below the 100 TB limit, but beginning May 1 all newly created or modified files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Jamboard files will begin counting towards the storage limit. This will be roughly 100 MBs of new storage per user per month that was not counted in the past. So, if you have 18,000 users in your domain, this could be almost 22 TBs of new content created in the next year.

Consider Education Plus Licenses to Increase Storage

The only way your district can get additional storage is by purchasing either Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or The Teaching and Learning upgrades. Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses include an additional 20 GBs of storage for each license, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade comes with 100 GBs of additional storage for each upgrade.

Does your district currently pay for Zoom or Webex licenses? With Google Workspace for Education Plus you get the same advanced video conferencing features in Google Meet as well as additional storage, advanced security features, teaching and learning tools, and originality reports – all for roughly the same price you’re already paying for just video conferencing.

Consider Tools like Kincaid IT’s Storage+ to Help You Manage Your Storage

KIT Central Storage+ allows you to manage your organization’s storage needs with precision and flexibility. Simple dashboards provide a quick overview of storage usage for your entire domain and on a per-user basis. This allows you to quickly identify which files are taking up the most room in your domain and how to optimize for this usage. Additionally, KIT Central Storage+ helps you understand what unused files in your domain can be moved into Google Cloud Storage Buckets to free up space. These insights make a big difference in managing your organization’s storage needs.

Start Messages To Your Users

There are only a couple months before teachers and students leave for the summer. Start drafting and sending messages to your users now. Not sure where to start? Google has created templates that you can customize and send to your users.

Start Reducing Your Storage 

Review Retention Policies

How long do you have to hang on to files and emails in your district? These policies are often determined by your policy makers, pending legal situations, and other compliance reasons. Partner with the leadership in your district to review your data retention policies so you can determine when data is no longer being used and when it can be deleted.

Control Shared Drives

Do students in your district have the ability to create Shared Drives? Do teachers? Should they? Kincaid IT recommends turning off Shared Drive creation for students. We also encourage districts to consider turning off Shared Drive creation for Staff. These users could still use Shared Drives but they would be prevented from creating their own.

If students are creating Shared Drives on their own, odds are they will use the drives as a space to chat with their friends, they will do it without the supervision of educators, and these spaces will likely be forgotten about after they graduate. The likely result is that this storage just sits in your domain taking up space.

Control who can create Shared Drives by opening the Google Admin Console > Apps > Google Workspace > Docs and Drive > Sharing Settings. These settings can be configured based on OUs, so you can apply different settings for staff and students.

Evaluate Alumni Account and Exited Staff Account Practices

How long do you retain student accounts after they graduate? How long do you retain staff accounts after they leave the district? Maybe it makes sense to hold on to student accounts for 12 months to allow them to access their documents as they apply for college or create portfolios. At the same time, perhaps it makes sense to delete staff accounts 30 days after they’ve left the district. Again, partner with decision-makers to determine how long to retain these accounts. 

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