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Ryerson Google accounts to be limited to one TB of storage

By Charlize Alcaraz

Following Ryerson’s Computing and Communications Services (CCS) announcement in March that the university will lose unlimited Google Workspace storage, they later announced on May 20 that certain accounts will only be able to store one terabyte (TB) of storage.

According to an email from CCS, these changes will come into effect on February 23, 2022 and will affect staff, student, academic assistant, retiree and alumni accounts.

Storage limits for department, generic and instructor accounts, as well as shared drives, won’t be determined until later next year.

Google first announced the renaming and storage policy changes within their G Suite for Education services in March. Now called Google Workspace for Education, the changes included ending the availability of unlimited storage for all educational institutions by July 2022. 

Currently, CCS estimates that fewer than 0.3 per cent of Ryerson accounts are nearing the one TB storage limit. Ryerson’s chief information officer, Brian Lesser, said there are 100,495 active accounts at Ryerson that are well below the limit. 

One terabyte of storage is worth one thousand gigabytes (GB). According to Lesser, on average, a Ryerson Google Workspace uses 21 GB of storage.

According to Dropbox, one TB of storage gives users the capacity for 250,000 photos, 250 movies or 500 hours of HD video and 6.5 million document pages. 

If a user exceeds the new storage limit, they won’t be able to update or create files and will lose the ability to edit documents and send emails. 

“We are waiting to hear from Google if we can adjust what people can and can’t do when they go over their [limit],” said Lesser. 

Individual users can’t purchase additional storage from Google directly, but Lesser said the university will be able to do so for certain accounts if needed.

“I imagine we may have to do that for research projects, video storage for lectures and so on,” he said. “There’s still a lot to work out, but we would like whatever system we put in place to be as simple as possible.”

The university’s shift to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a steep increase in storage usage, Lesser told The Eye in March. 

“A lot of Google Meets recordings are being made, people are relying on the system, uploading everything to share,” he said. “Their usage has just gone through the roof in terms of their storage.”

For users concerned about their storage capacity and nearing the one TB limit, CCS recommends they delete emails and files that are no longer needed and to back up files elsewhere such as iCloud, Dropbox or their personal Google Drive accounts, where they can pay an additional $2.79 a month for one hundred GB and up to $13.99 a month for two TB of storage. 

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