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Service Update: Google Workspace Transition Update – June 30, 2022

Google WorkspaceService Update: As part of the transition from G Suite to Google Workspace, Google began rolling out service changes to both the Google Workspace and G Suite platforms.

Please contact us by email, via our website, or by scheduling time directly with one of our Cloud advisors, with any questions or concerns.

Additional Storage

You can no longer add additional storage to G Suite Basic or to Google Workspace Business Starter licenses. This change impacts both managed and personal storage. Existing added storage will remain in place and functional.  You cannot, however, adjust the amount of existing additional storage to a user account. Nor can you add any additional storage to accounts approaching the 30GB limit.

If you need additional storage for users, the preferred action is to transition to Google Workspace Business Standard, which includes 2TB per user of storage that is pooled and available to all users accounts.

By default, Google will move your entire domain (all users) to Google Workspace Business Standard. Your standard license fees will double from $6 per user per month ($72/year) to $12 per user per month ($144/year). We can assist in arranging discounts to help mitigate your cost increase if you transition before your renewal period (annual commitments) or Google’s automated transition (month-to-month customers).

Depending on your number of user licenses, you may be able to split licensing between Google Workspace Business Starter and Standard subscriptions, limiting the more expensive licensing to only those users with a need for more than 30GB of storage.

Automatic Transitions

We have been discussing the transition from G Suite to Google Workspace and providing updates since November of 2020.  Google is now working to finish the transition process.

Google is automatically transitioning month-to-month customers to Google Workspace.  Your account administrators will receive notice 60 days in advance of the transition.  Google will transition all of your users based on storage, features, and security settings in use.  By default, all users will transition to the highest license level needed by any user within your domain.  These changes will increase your license costs; for many these increases will be significant.

You may be able mitigate costs by  splitting licenses within the Business and Enterprise tiers. Eligibility is based on your number of users and utilization.

We can also work to obtain discounts related to your transition.

For us to help, we need to begin your transition before Google initiates your automatic transition process.

Please contact us by email, via our website, or by scheduling time directly with one of our Cloud advisors, with any questions or concerns regarding this service update.

Google Workspace Storage Policy Changes Impact Business Subscribers

Earlier today (April 15, 2021), Google announced changes to Google Workspace storage policies for Google Photos and the suite of collaboration apps.  For Google Workspace subscribers on the Business Starter, Standard, and Enterprise licenses, these changes will impact how your data counts against your storage limits.

Policy Changes:

Effective June 1, 2021

  • All new high-quality photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos will count towards your storage limit. Any photos or videos uploaded prior to June 1, 2021 will not count towards your storage limit.

Effective February 1, 2022

  • Any new files created in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, or Jamboard will count towards your storage limit.
  • Existing files that you modify after this date will also count towards your storage limit.
  • Existing files that are not modified will not count towards your storage limit.

Impact

Depending on your use of Google Photos and the suite of collaboration apps, these changes to the storage policies means more of your files will count towards the storage limits in the Google Workspace Business tier licenses.

Business Starter

Storage limit: 30 GB per individual user

  • Prior to June 1, 2021: If you have users that regularly use Google Photos, review their usage and determine if/when they might reach the limit.
  • Prior to Feb 1, 2022: Review usage reports to assess how quickly individual users may reach the individual 30GB limit.

Action: Upgrade specific users to Business Standard or Business Plus, as needed to ensure they have the capacity they need.

Business Standard

Storage limit: 2TB per user, aggregated across the domain.

  • Understand your storage limit. Storage is aggregated, calculate your limit by multiplying the number of Business Standard users by 2TB and the number of Business Plus users by 5TB.  As an example, if you have 10 Business Standard users, your storage limit is 10 x 2TB = 20TB.
  • Prior to June 1, 2021: Review your use of the Google Photos in the aggregate across your domain. Project the rate of growth over the coming year to assess if or when the use of Google Photos may cause you to hit your storage limit.
  • Prior to February 1, 2022: Review your use of the collaboration apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) to estimate your rate of growth and file modifications.  With this estimate, you can project if/when you might approach your storage limit.

Actions: Running Business Standard licenses, you have options: (1) You can upgrade specific (higher activity) users to Business Plus, giving those users higher aggregated storage; (2) You can upgrade your entire domain to Business Plus, increasing your storage available to all users at the 5TB per user level; or (3) You can upgrade your service to a Google Workspace Enterprise license, giving your team unlimited storage.

Business Plus

Storage limit: 5TB per user, aggregated across the domain.

  • Understand your storage limit. Storage is aggregated, calculate your limit by multiplying the number of Business Plus users by 5TB.
  • Prior to June 1, 2021: Review your use of the Google Photos in the aggregate across your domain. Project the rate of growth over the coming year to assess if or when the use of Google Photos may cause you to hit your storage limit.
  • Prior to February 1, 2022: Review your use of the collaboration apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) to estimate your rate of growth and file modifications.  With this estimate, you can project if/when you might approach your storage limit.

Actions: As you cannot mix Business and Enterprise tier licenses, you will need to upgrade your service (all users) to an Enterprise subscription. This change will provide unlimited storage.

Next Steps

Contact us if you would like help assessing your usage patterns, planning your utilization, or assessing your options. We will schedule a meeting with one of our Cloud Advisors or members of our Service Team.

Other Reasons to use Drive for Work

apps_for_work_256-colorWhen most of our clients compare Google Apps for Work with Drive for Work, they focus on the two most visible differences:

  • Drive for Work gives you unlimited Drive storage, instead of the 30GB per user for Gmail and Drive in Google Apps for Work.
  • Drive for Work includes Google Apps Vault for email (and, in the future, document) archiving and e-discovery services.

While these differences are enough for many companies to step up to Drive for Work, some of the less visible differences may prove more valuable in the long term.

Expanded Reporting

Google Apps for Work offers a limited number of audit and admin reports that cover basic statistics about user accounts and activities.  Drive for Work, already has an extended suite of admin and audit reports, giving you greater visibility into how various services are being used, including configurable audit reports for Drive.

Expanded APIs

Most companies will never program to the Google Apps Application Program Interfaces (APIs). Third party administration, security, and productivity applications, however, rely on these APIs to access and manage data in Google Apps. With Google’s commitment to expand the API suite for Drive for Work, third party applications, including BetterCloud, CloudLock, Backupify and others, will offer additional features and services with Drive for Work than they can with Apps for Work. As a customer, you get a more robust computing environment.

Granted, these additional capabilities alone may not, today, warrant the additional cost of Drive for Work. Yet, these features are indicative of a trend for broader features and investment in Drive for Work. If you need or want archiving and/or additional storage and are considering a la carte upgrades, consider the strategic impact of expanded reporting and APIs. They may just tip the scales in favor of Drive for Work.

 

Google Drive or Overdrive?

As more organizations expand their use of Google Apps beyond email into file services, the question of how to best use Google Drive becomes important.  In a previous post, we compared centralized versus distributed use of additional storage.

For many organizations, the question remains as to how best to integrate Google Drive andGoogle Drive Additional Storage with existing, legacy apps on servers and client systems.  Beyond whether or not MS Office stays around, companies often have other systems that run locally using local disk or network drives.

The Google Drive client provides and easy, free, means to sync local data storage with Google Drive and Storage.  The utility, however, has a few limitations:

  • Synchronization of files happens between the My Drive hierarchy in the Google Apps Cloud and a local “Google Drive” folder.  While you can select where the “Google Drive” folder lives, you cannot map existing folders.
  • Users must know where to find and save documents they want synchronized between local disk space and Google Drive.
  • You cannot select specific folders in Google Drive to synchronize down to the client.
  • If a folder is “shared with” a user in Google Drive, the user needs to “move” it under “My Drive” for it to sync to their local disk.

While not a reason to avoid using Google Apps as a file service, using the Google Drive client limits how you deploy your solution and creates some training elements.

Our recommendation is to create a file service using Google Drive that keeps the look and feel of a traditional file service for the end users.   Doing so mitigates training and migration issues and avoids a range of technical issues related to supporting legacy applications.

Look for a solution that offers:

  • A server-specific synchronization tool that does not interfere with existing drive mappings and/or shared network folders.
  • The ability to specify specific folders in Google Drive and/or locally for synchronization.
  • The ability to provide gateway access to cloud-only storage that looks and feels like traditional network disk space.
  • Client applications that run on Windows, Mac, and popular smart phone platforms.
  • That can connect to multiple cloud storage solutions, giving you flexibility in how you configure primary, secondary, and/or archive storage.

While you may spend a few dollars per user per year to get the environment you want, you will see returns.  You should be able to extend the life or retire existing server hardware. With direct access to files, you should be able to reduce (or eliminate) your remote access solutions and/or VPN services, thereby reducing administration, licensing, and support costs.  And best of all, improved collaboration and secure access to information means better productivity for your team and better business results.