Google Cost Reduction Project

What's happening and why?

The end of unlimited cloud storage is here. Along with many other services, Google has canceled all unlimited storage offerings and will begin charging UC Berkeley for our stored content in 2024 if we do not reduce our storage consumption. We currently store 12.4 PB of data across all Google services, and our new storage cap, without significant additional fees, is 1.9 PB.

Current Project Snapshot

The Google Project Timeline is kept up to date with the most recent developments (and is subject to change).

The project team is currently focusing on the following:

  • Communicating to stakeholders and the community generally about the impacts and timelines for upcoming changes to Google storage
  • Publishing self-service materials to assist with content reduction and reorganization
  • Communicating the final quotas on May 17, 2023
  • Assisting customers with more than 1 TB of content find and move to new solutions
  • Developing implementation plans for the summer 2023 changes
  • Investigating demand for a "pay-for-quota" option

Google Storage Limit Resources

What are the storage limits, when are they being applied, and who will be impacted?

The final storage limits will be applied in multiple phases.

  • Complete - Jan. 24, 2023 - All accounts were placed into containment tiers of varying levels to slow the growth of Google content and begin awareness that limits are coming. Shared Drive limits were set at 500 GB. Special Purpose Account limits were included in the standard containment tiers. These limits apply to all UC Berkeley Google accounts. There are no exceptions.
  • July 5, 2023
    • All newly created accounts will have a 50 GB limit applied
    • All accounts with 35 GB of content or less will have a 50 GB limit applied.
    • All accounts with 36 - 150 GB of content will have a 150 GB extended limit applied.
    • All accounts with more than 150 GB of content will maintain their current limit until January 24, 2024
  • January 24, 2024 -  all remaining accounts will have a 150 GB limit applied.

What's happening to SPA-owned Google accounts and Shared Drives?

Thanks for asking! Unfortunately we're not quite ready to share those plans, but we will as soon as we can. We do know that we'll be emailing SPA members and Shared Drive creators and members when we're ready to share the plan for those accounts/services.

What will happen if I am over my limit but do nothing?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of how Google operates these limits, if you are over your limit on Jan. 24, 2024 your account will be frozen. The following conditions apply to a frozen Google account:

  • You can’t upload new files or images to Google Drive.
  • You can't back up any photos and videos to Google Photos.
  • You can’t create new files in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until you reduce your storage usage, nobody can edit or copy your affected files.
  • Email will continue to operate normally.

I'm over my limit and I need to avoid my account being frozen. How should I reduce my content?

We've put together some resources to help you get started. We also have a list of other storage options you may want consider using. If you need one-on-one assistance please contact us and we'll talk you through your options. If you choose to get in touch, please provide as much information as you can in your initial request so that we can better assist you.

Starting in the fall semester of 2023 we'll be offering workshops to departments and groups who need help developing a long term content storage strategy. Let us know if you're interested and we'll put you on the list to be contacted when we're ready to start the workshops.

Shared Drives will be easier to use

Beginning July 5, 2023 all faculty and staff will be able to create new Shared Drives in Google Drive. All new shared drives will have a 25 GB limit, with the possibility to increase the limit in cases where the content is collaborative and departmental/shared.

Existing Shared Drives may need to reduce their content depending on the type of usage. More information about this will be available in the fall of 2023.

Can I pay for more storage?

Paid storage may be available to increase the capacity of Shared Drives, but paid Google storage costs roughly 2-3 times as much as other services. If you think you want to pay for additional storage capacity of a Shared Drive please contact us so we can discuss your options.

What content is affected by the new limits?

The new Google limits apply to all content in email, Drive, and Photos, including native google documents like gdocs, sheets, slides, etc.

What other changes are happening, and when?

You can find a full schedule of known changes and events at the Project Timeline page.