Analyzing shared storage drives in Google Workspace for Education
Higher education institutions were originally given until July 2022 to get their storage up to the 100TB limit. But since then, number extensions have been granted, and any institution that purchased the Google Workspace for Education Plus package has also been granted a later deadline.
But with the deadline coming soon, and total storage needs for universities exceeding the 100TB maximum, the first step is decluttering the complex, congested directories, users and files.
One way to do that is to use Gopher for Drive, a free tool that dives deep into your users’ storage habits. Through Gopher, administrators can access storage data broken down by user, file type, file size, and more.
Armed with that data, administrators can take a closer look at which users are storing the most data. If those users are inactive, the solution is as simple as deleting them from the system. If they’re inadvertently uploading large amounts of data — for example, syncing their shared drive to back up their desktop — it’s a matter of notifying the user and making a change. And if something bad is happening, like a user selling storage space or an unwanted user accessing the shared drive, those issues are easy to fix once they’re identified.
Get: Why Your Campus Needs a Google Workspace for Education Audit
Developing guidelines for managing storage in Google Workspace for Education
When storage is free, universities can be more relaxed about providing access to Google Workspace for Education and large-scale tools. We’ve seen some institutions give applicants email addresses (and access to Google tools) before they register. Others had no rules for what could or needed to be backed up on the shared drive.
Now, universities are taking a closer look at these policies because of the fear of having to spend huge amounts of money to buy more storage space. A few best practices can have a big impact.
First, consider retention policies: Archival data is important in higher education because universities are required by law to keep some student data, and intellectual property developed by former users must be stored somewhere. In either case, we recommend looking for something more affordable than Google Drive.
For inactive users, the institution may want to continue email access, but must disconnect the collaboration tools and repositories after the user graduates or leaves the institution. User account lifecycle planning is essential to managing data needs.
The bottom line: Institutions should set expectations for using Google Drive and create an acceptable use policy to support that. Defining clearly what Google Workspace should be used for in education is an exercise that should be done almost everywhere.
CDW Education’s enhanced services can help. Our advanced tools and experts can dive as deep as you need to see what’s going on in Google Drive at your institution, and we can recommend guidelines to help you keep your storage requirements under control.
Next: Debunking five security myths about Google Workspace for Education.
This article is part of the EdTech: Focus on Higher Education University blog series.