Storage Changes at Pepperdine
Over the last few years, we have all noticed that offers for free, unlimited storage have slowly dwindled or disappeared. Some tools and services have reduced storage allocations, imposed limits, added fees, or changed pricing models. No longer needing to entice people to adopt cloud storage, companies are now charging for these services.
In the academic space, multiple cloud storage vendors have modified their terms of service or pricing models, too. Two services in use at Pepperdine, Google Workspace for Education and Panopto Video Management, have recently eliminated their free, unlimited storage offerings.
Google Ended "Unlimited" Storage
More than 95% of Pepperdine will not notice storage limits. We will work with the few to evaluate their needs and direct them to the appropriate solutions.
Chief Information Officer
When Pepperdine fully adopted Google Workspace for Education in 2016 (then called G Suite for Education), Google offered free, unlimited storage. Over time, Google reports that some institutions or users have exceeded the available resources, and the model is no longer sustainable. Google will still offer free options for educational institutions, but storage will be capped instead of unlimited.
Online file storage is vital for collaboration, communication, and supporting the University mission, and Google Workspace will remain our recommended solution for storing non-Restricted University data. Due to the recent changes, Pepperdine implemented Google storage limits.
Pepperdine Adopts Google Limits
The storage limits for Pepperdine's Google Workspace for Education were phased in on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The full implementation of user limits will happen on February 28, 2024. To determine Pepperdine's limits, we evaluated the current data usage for our community members. We will continue to partner with our community to understand the use cases for data, especially as we evaluate future Shared Drive limits. Shared Drive storage limits will be coming soon and will be announced in 2024.
If faculty and staff members need more space, schools and departments can purchase more capacity.
- 200GBFaculty and Staff Storage Limit.
- 50GBStudent Storage Limit.
- Nov.Temporary Limits Start November 15, 2023.
- Feb.Limits Enforced on February 28, 2024.
- Mar.Department Billing Starts March 2024.
Panopto Video Archiving Implemented
I checked Panopto and found test Zoom videos and old class recordings that I don't need. It was easy to delete them.
Sr. Director, IT Client Services
Panopto, our lecture capture and video management platform, has also ended its practice of free, unlimited video storage. Primarily used by professors and schools, Panopto helps to power the video lectures for our fully online, hybrid, and "flipped teaching" classes. Pepperdine also uses Panopto's integration with Zoom Meetings to back up recordings for faculty and academic staff.
Given the changes to Panopto's pricing model, we need to archive older, unwatched video content to manage our costs and ensure that current, actively-used recordings are available for our classes. An archived video is placed in a long-term storage state and can be retrieved if needed, although it can take up to 48 hours to restore an archived video. This summer, we implemented retention rules to auto-archive older videos. Moving forward, any video content that has not been viewed within the previous 13 months will be auto-archived. We will also adopt the appropriate long-term video retention periods to identify very old video content to mark for permanent deletion. Details on auto-delete retention policies will be shared once they are determined.
What You Can Do
All Community Members
Since the University must now pay for the storage that we use on these platforms, we need your help to be good stewards of these important University resources. We can do our part by adopting data best practices.
Keep Needed Data
Keep current and necessary data for your teaching, learning, research, and work at Pepperdine. All University data must be stored on University-approved services; do not migrate content to unapproved services, as this violates University policies and, in some cases, may constitute a data breach.
Delete Unnecessary Data
Review your content and identify any old, outdated, duplicate, unwanted, or unnecessary data and delete it.
Move Personal Data
University resources are intended for University-related business (i.e., teaching, learning, research, and work). If you have accidentally stored personal content, this is a good time to move it to your personal cloud storage service.
Departments and Schools
In addition to the individual data review and reduction steps above, Departments and Schools should review the storage practices across their teams and programs. Determine who is storing content in Pepperdine Google "My Drive" and who is using "Shared Drives." For departmental purposes, the preferred storage location is Google Shared Drives. Unlike "My Drive" which is associated with an individual employee (and will be deleted if the employee separates!), a "Shared Drive" resides with the institution rather than an individual. This means that if people leave, the data stays. "Shared Drives" are preferred for storing project information, documentation, meeting notes, spreadsheets, presentations, and other content for collaboration. Therefore, the best practice is to use Google Shared Drives to centrally locate and share collective work.
Leaders and Supervisors
- Where is your team sharing content within Pepperdine Google? In personal "My Drive" or a group "Shared Drive"?
- Does your team have one or more Shared Drives to centrally store critical project information, meeting notes, documentation, and other content that should stay with the organization even if an employee separates?
- Do your Shared Drives have multiple owners/managers who can update the membership?
- When was the last time you audited the storage in your Shared Drives and cleaned up any outdated or unnecessary content?
- Do you have a plan to transition content from an employee's "My Drive" to the appropriate person or Shared Drive upon separation?
As shared earlier, storage limits will be coming to Shared Drives, too. Schools and
departments have options to purchase additional storage capacity for users and Shared
Important Reminders for Everyone
- Google Workspace remains the primary collaboration platform for Pepperdine University. This is not changing.
- All University-related data must be stored on University-approved services or locations based on its information classification.
- Restricted information should never be stored on Google Workspace (email, Drive, Calendar, etc.). See the Google Storage Policy.
- University resources are reserved for University-related business only.
- Departments and schools will be able to purchase additional space for their faculty, staff, delegate inboxes, and Shared Drives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Google has announced that it will no longer offer free, unlimited storage to educational institutions. It says that the current model for education is no longer sustainable. The company has switched to a "pooled storage model" where the entire institution has been granted a capped amount of storage.
Due to Google's storage policy changes, Pepperdine must adopt storage limits to manage the service and ensure access and functionality for our community.
Source: Sinha, Shantanu. "More options for learning with Google Workspace for Education," The Keyword, Google, February 17, 2021, https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/google-workspace-for-education/.
Pepperdine IT reviewed current storage usage at the institution and researched limits at other academic institutions. Our goal was to set limits high enough to minimize the short-term impact on our community.
We initially considered 100 GB for Faculty and Staff and 25 GB for Students. Instead, we have doubled these numbers. We announced the new limits on Thursday, September 14, 2023 to our community.
Less than 2.6% of our Faculty and Staff store more than our new limit, and less than 1.1% of students exceed the new limit. There will be options for Faculty and Staff to work with their department or school to acquire more storage, if necessary.
Data Becomes "Read Only" If You Exceed the Limit
If a community member exceeds the available storage limit, the person will still be able to read and reply to emails, but other services will shift to "read-only" mode. This means that documents in their "My Drive" can be viewed but cannot be edited, data cannot be synched, and new content cannot be uploaded or created. To restore the full functionality of Google Workspace, the person must take action to remove or move content until it falls below the user's storage limit.
No data will be deleted automatically. It is the responsibility of the individual user to review their information and make decisions:
- Remove Content: If the data is redundant, out of date, or no longer required, then delete the content.
- Move the Content: Did you store content in your "My Drive" that should have been stored in a department or school "Shared Drive" instead? Work with your supervisor to determine the correct location for any work product.
- Transfer the Content to Personal Storage: Did you accidentally store your personal (non-Pepperdine) data on Pepperdine's Google Workspace? If yes, download the content to your personal computer and delete it from Pepperdine's Google service. You may then keep it on your computer or storage it on your personal cloud storage solution.
- Purchase More Space (Faculty and Staff Only): If you are a faculty or staff member and your work requires you to store content in your "My Drive" as opposed to a departmental "Shared Drive," then work with your department major area budget manager to purchase additional storage for your account. Note: Student workers are not eligible; this option is only for employed faculty or staff members.
Shared Drive Limits are Coming Soon
Storage limits will be applied to Shared Drives as well. Once a "Shared Drive" limit has been reached, the drive content can be read, but no new content can be created, uploaded, edited, or synched. A team or project group will need to evaluate and remove excess content to stay within the limit or purchase more storage.
Releasing Limits in Stages
Limits will be applied in stages. We will work with the community to be sure that community members will be able to teach, learn, research, and work during this transition to storage limits. Also, options will be available for schools and departments to increase their storage capacity.
In November 2023, we will launch the first phase of user limits. Community members under the proposed limit will have the new limit applied. Community members who have more data than the proposed limit will be granted temporary, expanded limits so that they will not lose any functionality and have time to assess their content.
On February 28, 2024, the temporary, expanded limits will expire for all users. Anyone who had been granted temporary, expanded limits will be aligned with the institutional limits at that time. Data will have either been deleted by the user (if it was unnecessary or not appropriate to store on University resources), migrated to the appropriate University-approved solution (if the data remains necessary for University purposes), migrated to a personal storage solution (if the data is not Pepperdine data), or the department or school will purchase additional storage space.
Yes. We will be applying limits to all Pepperdine Google accounts, including departmental delegate email accounts.
Only a small percentage of our community will be impacted by the new limits. We will work with these individuals to evaluate their storage needs and direct them to appropriate solutions or practices.
Yes. Google Shared Drives will also have storage limits. The precise limits are still under review, and Pepperdine will announce the levels in 2024.
Yes. Schools and departments can purchase additional storage for their faculty, staff, delegate inboxes, and Shared Drives. Students and student workers are not eligible to purchase additional storage.
Please refer to "Buy More Storage" in the "Departments and Schools" section above.
If Google Workspace is the appropriate location for the University data, options will be available for faculty, staff, schools, and departments to purchase additional storage capacity. Do not purchase or adopt other solutions on your own. Consult with your local school or department technical support representative or contact Tech Central.
- All University-related data must be stored on University-approved services based on the information classification.
- Do not store Restricted information on Google Workspace. You may only store Restricted information on approved, University-controlled services like PeopleSoft and Etrieve. If your role requires you to work with and store Restricted information, please consult with your supervisor or the Information Security Office.
Please refer to our other reminders.
If you have personal data (non-University related data) stored on Pepperdine's Google Drive, you should move this content to your own personal computer or cloud storage solution and then delete it from Pepperdine's Google Drive. Examples of personal data might include personal photos, home videos, or similar information not related to teaching, learning, research, or work at the University. You would download the content to your personal computer and store it there or transfer it to your personal cloud storage solution.
Do not transfer University data to personal computers, personal cloud storage, or devices.
Please refer to the Google Drive Storage Best Practices.
Panopto, like Google, is a commercial entity and wants to seek profit. This change addresses rising storage costs across the industry and places financial controls around storage consumption and service usage. Previously, Panopto charged a base rate plus overage based on usage or video views. Now, Panopto will charge a base rate plus overage based on usage and video storage. The company description of the new model can be found at "Learn about created, stored, and archived hours."
The new pricing model will result in changes to Pepperdine's retention of video content. We will need to immediately archive older content to reduce costs. We will also need to implement retention practices to permanently delete older, inactive content. The archival process will start July 31, 2023 and the retention and removal plan will happen in 2024.
In response to these changes by Panopto, Pepperdine will also explore alternatives for its lecture capture and video management needs, in addition to the archival and retention plans.
During the summer of 2023, Pepperdine needed to immediately archive a large amount of video content. When a Panopto video is archived, it is moved into a long-term storage state. The cost of storing archived content is significantly lower than the cost of storing active content. Through archiving, Pepperdine will reduce costs to stay within our budget. While an archived video is not immediately available for playback, it can be restored for use. Any authorized viewer of an archived video can request restoration. The restoration process can take up to 48 hours before the video is available.
We initiated the auto-archiving process prior to July 31, 2023.
Please refer to our Panopto Recording Management information.
Yes. Pepperdine will launch a lecture capture and video management review to evaluate the market and determine the best solution for our academic needs. In addition to cost issues, Panopto's LMS integration is lacking. We will seek solutions that are feature-rich, accessible, integrate seamlessly with our LMS, easy to maintain, and cost-effective.