UW Google Changes Project

Last updated: September 16, 2022

Current project status (snapshot)

The project timeline has been updated with anticipated major project milestones.

The project team’s primary focus currently is on:

  • Communicating to stakeholders and general community awareness about the impacts and timelines for the changes coming to UW Google.
  • Documenting recommendations and self-service approaches available for users to move data.
  • Working to determine whether data migration services can be offered to the UW community.
  • Investigating the feasibility of offering Google Shared Drives as a recharge (“for fee”) service charged to a UW budget.

Major changes to UW Google

With the recent finalization of UW-IT’s contract with Google, the University of Washington has entered into a new four-year agreement to upgrade UW Google from Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals to Google Workspace for Education Plus.  UW Google will continue to be offered as a service to the University of Washington, though users and business processes will be impacted due to Google’s service changes.

Not every impact has been identified. Please note that these dates are accurate to the best of our knowledge but could change considering new developments from Google.

Notable impacts include:

All UW Google accounts for Shared UW NetIDs will be deleted August 2023

Using Shared UW NetIDs with UW Google is against the Google Workspace & Cloud Identity Acceptable Use Policy.

All UW Google accounts & data for Shared UW NetIDs will be deleted on August 29, 2023.

All UW Google accounts will be subject to a storage quota of 100 GB in June 2024

UW Google is moving to a shared storage pool, used by all UW Google accounts. Based on the terms of our new contract and usage analysis done by the UW Google team, we have set a user storage quota goal of 100 GB per user. According to usage analysis, this limit represents a ceiling far above what most individual users generally require. This limit will continue to be reevaluated as usage patterns change or if the shared storage pool becomes critically low on space.

All UW Google accounts must be below 100 GB of storage by June 11, 2024.  All accounts in violation will be deleted.

The future of Google Shared Drives in UW Google is uncertain

UW-IT is exploring the feasibility of offering Google Shared Drives as a recharge service (a service charged to a UW budget number) to the University.

Project timeline

Click here for project changes to date

July 2022

UW Google accounts above 80 GB of storage usage will begin receiving direct email communications about the new 100 GB storage limit.

August 23, 2022

UW Google accounts below 80 GB of storage usage will receive the 100 GB storage quota. Accounts above 80 GB of storage usage will receive a storage quota set higher than their current usage, but capped to prevent unconstrained storage usage growth.

Spring 2023 (exact date TBD)

Enforcement of the Google Shared Drive deletion policy will begin — Shared Drives without a UW Google account in the Manager role will be deleted.

August 29, 2023

All remaining UW Google accounts & data for Shared UW NetIDs will be deleted.

June 11, 2024

All UW Google accounts will be set to the final 100 GB storage quota. Accounts in violation will be deleted.

How do I know if I am impacted?

Personal UW NetID Google account

UW-IT will contact UW NetIDs with personal UW Google accounts exceeding 80 GB of storage via email, with more instructions and next steps. If you are not using over 100 GB of storage, no action is required.

Learn how to manage data stored in your UW Google account

Shared UW NetID Google account

UW-IT will contact UW NetIDs that are owners and/or admins for Shared UW NetIDs with UW Google accounts via email, with more instructions and next steps. Please make sure the accounts listed as owners and administrators are configured to receive email.  If you are using a UW Group to define administrators, please make sure to enable either “UW Google Apps” or “Exchange email” on the UW Group and allow emails sent to the group from help@uw.edu.

If the UW Google account is no longer needed, the owner should remove provisioning of UW Google services for the account using the Provisioning Request Tool at https://provision.uw.edu/

Can UW-IT help me move my data?

We are developing documentation to assist impacted UW Google users with self-migration. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, UW-IT is unable to offer individualized data migration consulting or assistance at this time. Your department’s IT group is your best resource for assistance and recommendations.

UW-IT is currently working with vendors to determine the feasibility of providing a tool to migrate data from UW Google to an alternative repository. We will communicate about any available solutions as soon as possible.

UW employees can access UW Google account storage use information via Productivity Platforms Stats (aka PPlat Stats) for UW Google accounts of UW employees and Shared UW NetIDs to help plan UW Google migrations.

Alternatives to UW Google

We continue to work on documentation to assist impacted UW Google users with migrating their data to other locations. In the meantime, please see the resources below:

Access UW Google account storage use information

We are providing access to UW Google account storage use information for UW Google accounts of UW employees and Shared UW NetIDs. This data is available via Productivity Platforms Stats (aka PPlat Stats). Access to PPlat Stats is restricted to UW employees only and data should not be shared with anyone other than a UW employee needing it for their job responsibilities. This data also should not be shared outside of the UW.

Click here to request access to PPlat Stats

UW Google changes to date

The following UW Google changes have been made to date:

Why did Google make these changes?

We can only speculate that the cost of offering unlimited storage to their customers drove these changes by Google. Most users in higher education use the platform for everyday collaboration using shared documents, though a small percentage of users have capitalized on the previous “free and unlimited” nature of the product to meet high-capacity storage needs, leading to exponential growth in overall data storage. Some examples of these uses include:

  • Large video libraries
  • Departmental backups
  • Machine images
  • Massive research data sets, often produced by data streams from technical instruments

It is worth mentioning that individuals and groups that have used UW Google to meet their high-capacity storage needs have done nothing wrong. However, we believe this usage did inform Google’s decision to end their offer of unlimited storage. Google now indicates that it intends Google Workspace for Education to meet the needs of “everyday collaboration.” For high-capacity storage usage, Google offers storage services through its Google Cloud Platform (GCP), similar to other cloud storage offerings such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

History of UW Google

UW-IT has offered many iterations of UW Google to campus since 2008. Since that time, the costs to support and maintain infrastructure for providing Google services have been centrally funded. This funding, however, did not include the purchase of Google services above the “free” level of Google’s education offering.

However, in early 2021, Google announced significant changes to their education offering, discontinuing “G Suite for Education” and replacing it with “Google Workspace for Education“. Alongside this name change came additional changes to technology, policy, and licensing. Notably, Google announced that their Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals offering would no longer offer unlimited storage and would instead offer a significantly reduced level of storage. Google also announced that the use of shared and business accounts (aka Shared UW NetIDs) with Google Workspace for Education was prohibited.

After several months of negotiation, in late 2021 UW-IT signed a four-year contract with Google for Google Workspace for Education Plus, which grants the UW a significant increase in our total shared storage for UW Google (though still not unlimited), along with several other administrative and technical improvements.

Help

Please contact the UW-IT Technology Service Center at help@uw.edu or 206-221-5000 with questions about the UW Google Changes Project.