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May 29, 2024 | Reading time 9 minutes

Navigating Cloud Storage Changes in Education: Strategies for Cost Reduction and Data Management

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Product Manager

For a long time, Google and Microsoft have provided considerable benefits to educational institutions by offering free cloud resources to students, faculty, and staff. One of these benefits has been unlimited cloud storage. However, both cloud providers announced that they are rescinding unlimited storage for educational organizations starting in 2024. Let’s look at forthcoming changes and what this means for educational institutions. Also, how can these institutions reduce their spending considering the upcoming changes?

No more unlimited storage for Education

The education sector is set to see significant changes in its cloud spend in 2024. This year, neither Google Workspace nor Microsoft 365 will continue to offer unlimited storage for those institutions. These changes come as hyperscale cloud providers like Google and Microsoft are looking at managing infrastructure costs and continuing to provide service efficiency.

Despite the change offsetting costs for cloud providers, the policy change will undoubtedly pose a challenge for educational institutions that rely heavily on these platforms for data storage and collaboration.

Implications of the New Storage Policies

Consider the implications of the new storage policies and cost models from Google and Microsoft.

  • Increased Costs – There is no question that the generous storage offerings for educational institutions in Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have enormously benefited the academic community. As the unlimited storage plans are removed, schools, colleges, and universities will certainly face increased costs for their cloud storage. Education institutions will have to shift their strategies for data management to stay within budgets already strictly limited by state or other funding.
  • Data Retention Challenges – This change is a double-edged sword. Institutions still have to make sure that data remains accessible and secure, even with the new limits. Academic records, research data, and administrative documents will still need long-term retention strategies.
  • Operational Disruptions – The news may initially cause disruptions to IT operations for organizations trying to pivot their strategies to follow the announcements. The first step is to audit current storage usage and identify inactive data. Once this is accomplished, they can introduce new archiving processes. Institutions should keep in mind the transition will require time and resources. On top of other operational requirements, IT departments must adapt to the new requirements and introduce limits and archiving that enable stay within budget.

Assessing the Impact of Reduced Storage Quotas

How can educational organizations assess the impact of reduced storage quotas in Google Workspace and Microsoft 365?

Assessing the impact

The reduced storage allowed by Google and Microsoft will undoubtedly impact educational institutions. Schools and universities need to understand how the reduction will impact their data management practices. One of the first steps is understanding the storage footprint in the environment by carrying out an assessment.

Analyzing current storage usage

A thorough analysis of the current storage layout in cloud storage environments is needed to understand the full impact of quota reduction. Identifying the data used in the environment and which data is essential and non-essential is necessary. Without the liberty of unlimited data, organizations will need to manage storage usage more carefully to align with the new limits.

Data that can or needs to be archived or deleted needs to be identified and properly processed with data archiving strategies and solutions. In this way, education organizations can hold onto data that is needed for archival purposes while still meeting the new limitations on cloud storage.

Projecting future needs

Moving forward, an important part of the overall data management strategy is understanding future storage needs. These will need to be anticipated based on current usage trends and growth. It will help plan data management strategies and align with the new storage limits.

As schools and universities understand their growth patterns, it helps them decide which data is critical or needed moving forward in their cloud storage footprint.

Audit and Cleanup Recommendations

How do education institutions audit and clean up their cloud storage environments? It will require an extensive audit of data usage and cleanup initiatives.

Extensive audit and cleanup

This process includes reviewing all data stored across cloud storage platforms and determining what can be archived, deleted, or retained. Data must be classified to effectively know which data can be kept and archived or which is safe to delete.

Review inactive accounts

A large number of cloud storage space consumers often have inactive user accounts. Stale user accounts can accumulate over time due to ineffective or non-existent offboarding processes. It can be “low-hanging” fruit for education institutions to review user accounts for stale and inactive users with stale data taking up space in cloud storage.

Admins should review all inactive OneDrive/Google Drive and mailbox accounts where users have left the organization, archiving or deleting data from these accounts. This task can potentially free up a large amount of storage space to reclaim available space for critical data.

How SpinOne Archive Can Help Educational Institutions

Using the right technology tools to help adopt an archiving solution is vital. SpinOne offers the tools for robust archiving that can be specifically tailored for educational institutions. 

Note how SpinOne Archive can help:

  • Cost-Effective Archiving – SpinOne enables institutions to archive user data without limits and introduces immediate cost savings. SpinOne Archive allows organizations to move inactive or less frequently accessed data to free up costly primary cloud storage space. This capability reduces the need for expensive storage plans from Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
  • Secure and Accessible Data – SpinOne helps make sure data is protected and accessible. It provides a 99.9% Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures archived data is always accessible when needed. This high level of reliability augments disaster recovery strategies and helps organizations have peace of mind when adopting new storage requirements. 
  • Efficient Data Management – One advantage of SpinOne is its ability to archive multiple users simultaneously rather than one by one. This capability reduces time and increases efficiency in managing data archiving. It allows IT departments to focus on other essential tasks instead of manually managing data assets.

Google’s Recommendation for Data Protection

SpinOne is one of a few solutions endorsed by Google for data protection. Google’s confidence in the solution highlights SpinOne’s ability to safeguard critical educational data against potential risks. It also helps ensure compliance with strict educational compliance regulations and data protection standards.

Steps to Transition to SpinOne

  1. Request Pricing and Consultation – Reach out to SpinOne to request a pricing quote and consultation. Our team will guide you through the process and help you understand the cost benefits of adopting SpinOne Archive.
  2. Implement SpinOne Archive – Our experts will assist in setting up SpinOne Archive, ensuring a seamless transition with minimal disruption to your institution’s operations.
  3. Start Archiving Data – Begin archiving inactive or less critical data to SpinOne Archive. This step will immediately free up space on your primary storage platforms, reducing costs and optimizing storage usage.

Testimonials from Educational Institutions

Is SpinOne already helping educational institutions achieve their data archiving goals? Note the following testimonials:

Roland Chan, Chief Information Security Officer “We needed a security solution to ensure that our university’s user base could maximize the functionality of G Suite without compromising the institution’s sensitive information.”

Val Pashchenko, Information Technology Director at Gurnick “At Gurnick, we are committed to taking proactive measures that ensure all our students and staff are fully protected. This is why we selected Spin Technology as the solution for our organization.”

Manager of Computing and Communications Service, Top Tier University “SpinOne provides us the tranquility we need to keep on working with Drive, so we are very satisfied.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What changes did Google make?

Google no longer offers unlimited storage for Google Workspace for Education.

What changes did Microsoft make?

Microsoft announced that it no longer offers unlimited storage for Microsoft 365 for Education.

How can you reduce the impact on your budget?

Archive inactive user data to free up Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 storage space.

How much would it cost?

SpinOne offers a cost-effective solution with special discounts for educational institutions. Contact sales or request a demo to learn more about the pricing and benefits of SpinOne Archive.

What is the difference between storage and archive?

Storage keeps the original data in place with backups, while archiving moves data from primary to secondary storage for long-term retention.

How quickly can you archive my users’ data?

SpinOne is one of the fastest providers, archiving multiple users in parallel rather than one by one.

Does SpinOne offer storage?

Storage is included in the SpinOne, SpinBackup, SpinRDR, and SpinDLP. Request pricing for more details.

Wrapping up

The changes introduced in Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 storage policies will require organizations to shift their stance and policies on data storage in the cloud. While previously, institutions could store unlimited data in the cloud, now, they have limits on storage space.

SpinOne’s backup and archiving solutions allow schools to manage these changes effectively. It also helps educational institutions to realize cost savings and meet security and compliance objectives. If you’re looking to reduce Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 storage costs, take advantage of our limited time, special discount for educational institutions.

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Written by

Product Manager at Spin.AI

Will Tran is the Product Manager at Spin.AI, where he guides the product's strategic direction, oversees feature development and ensures that the solution solves his clients’ cybersecurity needs.

Will is a security professional who started his career at Lockheed Martin where he worked on National Security Space programs in business development and product management.

Will holds a BA in Economics and Mathematics from UCSB and an MBA with a specialization in Technology Management and Marketing from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

At Lockheed Martin, Will developed the multi-year strategy campaign and supported the product development of a national security satellite program for the United States Air Force, which resulted in a multi-billion dollar contract.

During business school, Will consulted 2 non-profit organizations as part of a series of national consulting case competitions. He set strategic priorities, optimized business operations, and developed a process to qualify new revenue streams for his non-profit clients. These initiatives resulted in 15-20% increase in annual surplus.

In his spare time, Will can be found at local coffee shops around Los Angeles, traveling to different countries, or hanging out with his cat.

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