Google Education Shakedown: No More Free Storage

Carson Barcome
Carson Barcome
Contributing Editor, The Bucket
05/24/2022

The clock is ticking for educators and their accumulated data.

It started ticking in February of 2021, when Google announced it would no longer provide free cloud storage in the education industry. In an article cleverly labeled “More options for learning with Google Workspace for Education”, the XaaS hyperscaler shared that their plan’s commencement would take place in July 2022. Now, educators can choose to purchase three new Google Workspace models to utilize the tools (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Meet) that have become commonplace in schools. Institutions will pay per student and/or per teacher to use these once-free Google features, all of which are meant to share 100TB of free storage. Per the announcement, Google believes that this decision is in the best interest of education institutions, and while 100TB of free data storage per organization still remains on the table for all users to share, “more options” seems to equate to ‘more ways to pay Google.’

Exceed the free 100TB of data storage offered by Google and one would be met with more disheartening news. Alongside the decision to ax free storage for education, Google is also raising its storage pricing effective on October 1, 2022. Not only does the pricing change include alterations to at-rest data storage cost, but it also includes additional data replication fees in the United States as well as network egress fees – even when operating within a single cloud storage bucket.

In their announcement, Google shared that the available 100TB could provide “more than enough storage for over 100 million docs, 8 million presentations or 400,000 hours of video”, and while an institution may be able to store a certain amount of Workspace data for free, there are many potential storage uses where Google doesn’t recognize education budgets. Is Google considering a school’s potential need for data duration of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) alongside HIPAA or FERPA compliance? Is there any attention towards an institution’s budgetary difficulty storing video surveillance files? With Google’s storage model, accumulated video footage would consume large capacities of storage and accrue additional costs for schools. If institutions find that the collective 100TB is not enough, or that they have more storage needs than a ‘Google Documents plan,’ they may find themselves cornered into purchasing new and expensive storage contracts. Google has invited educators to enter an allegedly generous door, but on the other side there is an expectation that they will have to pay in abundance.

Educators shouldn’t have to pay for expensive tiers or data transfer costs per student. Institutions would benefit from a predictable storage solution that allows them to focus on nurturing students as opposed to constantly monitoring storage capacity balances. With Wasabi, educators can store five times as much data at the same price of a hyperscaler, without ever being charged for data egress or transfer. Wasabi understands that education is inundated with data and that storing data should be a seamless process. Alongside Wasabi’s predictable pricing are high-performance and data protection features, ensuring your data is steadily fast and always safe from the threat of Ransomware. No matter the use, Wasabi is the ideal fit for your education cloud storage solution.

Learn more on why we graded “F for Google” and how you can move your school’s data to Wasabi at a fraction of the cost of Google with Cloudflyer migration.

Carson Barcome
Written By

Carson Barcome

Contributing Editor, The Bucket