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Google Workspace Program

June 15, 2022

The program continues to evaluate the impact of Google’s change to its licensing model from no-cost, unlimited storage to consumption-based charges. We have already completed two projects, are currently on a third, and have plans for a fourth project to start in 2023. To view our current timeline, visit the timeline.

Here is a summary of the projects (completed and planned):

  • Project 1 evaluated the current state of Google services and storage. Project 1: final report
  • Project 2 continued to evaluate Google usage at Virginia Tech and negotiated the Internet2 contract (giving more time for the program to provide its recommendation). Project 2: final report
  • Project 3 is currently underway and will run until December 2022. It will evaluate alternative Virginia Tech storage offerings and collaborative software-as-a-service (SaaS) environments. It is also expected that the Google Workspace service decision will be made before the end of this project.
  • Project 4 is planned to be the implementation of the service decision made in Project 3.

 

Some key results from the program include:

  • The Internet2 Net+ contract was signed on November 23, 2021. This new four-year contract moves the Google storage enforcement deadline from July 2022 to July 2024 providing the university an additional two years to plan and act on these licensing changes. A Google usage survey was conducted. We believe that understanding how our stakeholders use Google services and allowing them to provide their own comments and input into the decision is a necessary part of a fully informed decision.  Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all eligible Google users except for Alumni (65,911 invitations total). The Advancement Division manages communications with Virginia Tech’s alumni constituents. There were 4,765 responses (7.2 percent response rate). The Project 2 final report  contains a summary of the responses.

 

We are currently in the middle of Project 3 which includes

  • Continuing our analysis of Google usage at the university and the total cost to the university to continue Google services under Google’s new licensing model,
  • Evaluating the different storage options at Virginia Tech – key information for stakeholders regardless of the program’s recommendation regarding Google services, and
  • Modelling a range of scenarios from continuing in Google with license-based storage quotas to a full transition away from Google.

 

As we progress, we will be determining any gaps to our data and narrowing down towards a final service decision.

The program members understand how important this decision is to the university. The impacts of Google’s licensing changes are complex and far-reaching. This program will lead the university through this difficult decision to a place where we can confidently move forward with the mission of serving the university community and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

April 22, 2022

The program continues to evaluate the impact of Google’s change to its licensing model from no-cost, unlimited storage to consumption-based charges. We have already completed two projects, are currently on a third, and have plans for a fourth project to start in 2023. To view our current timeline, visit the timeline.  

Here is a summary of the projects (completed and planned):

  • Project 1 evaluated the current state of Google services and storage. Project 1: final report
  • Project 2 continued to evaluate Google usage at Virginia Tech and negotiated the Internet2 contract (giving more time for the program to provide its recommendation). Project 2: final report
  • Project 3 is currently underway and will run until December 2022. It will evaluate alternative Virginia Tech storage offerings and collaborative software-as-a-service (SaaS) environments. It is also expected that the Google Workspace service decision will be made before the end of this project. 
  • Project 4 is planned to be the implementation of the service decision made in Project 3.

Some key results from the program include:

  • The Internet2 Net+ contract was signed on November 23, 2021. This new four-year contract moves the Google storage enforcement deadline from July 2022 to July 2024 providing the university an additional two years to plan and act on these licensing changes. With the new contract in place, the university does not anticipate any Google service changes for users during the 2022 calendar year.
  • A Google usage survey was conducted. We believe that understanding how our stakeholders use Google services and allowing them to provide their own comments and input into the decision is a necessary part of a fully informed decision.  Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all eligible Google users except for Alumni (65,911 invitations total). The Advancement Division manages communications with Virginia Tech’s alumni constituents. There were 4,765 responses (7.2 percent response rate). The Project 2 final report  contains a summary of the responses.

We are currently in the middle of Project 3 which includes

  • Continuing our analysis of Google usage at the university and the total cost to the university to continue Google services under Google’s new licensing model,
  • Evaluating the different storage options at Virginia Tech – key information for stakeholders regardless of the program’s recommendation regarding Google services, and
  • Modelling a range of scenarios from continuing in Google with license-based storage quotas to a full transition away from Google. 

As we progress, we will be determining any gaps to our data and narrowing down towards a final service decision.

The program members understand how important this decision is to the university. The impacts of Google’s licensing changes are complex and far-reaching. This program will lead the university through this difficult decision to a place where we can confidently move forward with the mission of serving the university community and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

December 7, 2021

Virginia Tech has entered into a 4-year Internet2 contract with Google. This new contract represents two important updates for the Program.

  1. The deadline for Google storage enforcement based on the new Google Workspace licensing has moved to July 2024. This provides the university with two additional years to address storage usage within Google prior to the deadline.
  2. Most Virginia Tech Google users will see no changes to their current Google services in 2022. Implementation of service changes as needed to meet the Google storage deadline will start in 2023.

Please view our Project 2 Final Report to

  • learn more about the Internet2 contract and our revised Program timeline,
  • view the results of our VT Google Usage Survey and faculty use case analysis work, and
  • see the scope of work planned for Project 3.

 

November 5, 2021

For the latest information regarding the Google Workspace Program, please see the presentation that was given at the Fall 2021 Departmental Computing Support Symposium (DCSS), "Google Workspace Program Update & M365 Basic Auth Changes (Chris Shively)". It can be found at Fall 2021 Presentations | Division of Information Technology | Virginia Tech (vt.edu). The first part of this presentation discusses the program, and the sescond part discusses Microsoft changes to Basic Authentication, which is not related to the Google Workspace Program.

October 12, 2021

  • Based on the university's decision to sign the Internet 2 (I2) contract with Google, the timeline for the program has been updated. The new timeline for the program can be found on the Timeline page. Updates have been made to the FAQ page as applicable.
  • CCS's Google Workplace Update at the Fall 2021 Departmental Computing Support Symposium (DCSS) - DCSS Fall 2021 Program Update
  • Steering Committee additions
    •  Chris Shively - CCS
    • Greg Kroll - DoIT Planning
    • Marc DeBonis - CCS

August 3, 2021

Project 1 – the analysis of current state of use of Google services and storage at Virginia Tech - has released its final report.

June 29, 2021

Charter Publication

The charter is now available and can be found on the Charter page.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee has been created. It is composed of stakeholders from across the university with the goal of representing the broader university constituency.

  • Steven Yi - Staff, Retirees
  • Jerrad Miers - Alumni
  • Zeb Bowden - Research, Faculty and Staff
  • Dale Pike - Teaching Faculty
  • Shannon Philips - Distributed IT
  • Maruf Hoque - Graduate Students
  • Janice Austin - Graduate School
  • Ali Butt - Academic Faculty
  • Truitt Elliott - Undergraduate Students
  • Scott Shetrone - Extension

June 16, 2021

Planned Timeline

The planned timeline for the program can be found on the Timeline page.

April 14, 2021

Google Announces Final Google Workspace for Education Versions, Features, and Pricing

March 15, 2021

CCS Google Workplace Update at the Spring 2021 Departmental Computing Support Symposium (DCSS)

February 25, 2021

Initial Program Site Creation and General Announcement

On February 16, 2021, Google announced several changes to their educationally focused G Suite for Education productivity suite. These announcements affect Virginia Tech's instance of the product and introduce questions and challenges around how faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees will utilize the software suite in the future.

In overview, the changes are:

  • An immediate name change, rebranding the product from “G Suite for Education” to “Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals”
  • On April 14, 2021, the addition of new pricing tiers which introduce faculty and staff licensing, paired with unique service functionality and additional storage allocations
  • During the fourth quarter of 2021, a workspace-wide change from an (unlimited) individual user storage allocation to a (limited) pooled storage model 
  • In July 2022, a workspace-wide enforcement of storage limits

These changes bring a plethora of questions around how and in what way Virginia Tech will be able to move forward with Google Workspace for Education as a major cloud-based productivity suite. Collaborative Computing Solutions (CCS), a unit within the Division of Information Technology, in partnership with key university stakeholders, will be initiating a program to resolve these questions and manage service changes in a transparent and collaborative manner with a goal to reduce impact to capabilities and budgets.

As we develop additional updates, documentation, project materials, roadmaps, and action plans, CCS will be posting all information to a project communications website (currently in development). Once this website is online, please reference it as the definitive source of information regarding this and related topics.

What should I do?
Review your current G Suite storage usage. Review non-work data sets that can be archived to alternative forms of media outside of the G Suite apps storage space. Review departmental accounts (GAEs) for data that can be removed to reduce G Suite space utilization. Note that while we have not yet determined what storage quota will be allotted to users, reducing current storage demands will assist with decisions related to future storage allocations.

As reminder, G Suite apps, such as Google Drive, should not be used for critical functions such as desktop and server backups. Additionally, you should review Google terms of service regarding what types of data should not be stored in Google services, especially data that may be identified as copyright infringing content.

If you have any concerns or questions, please submit a 4Help ticket or contact the Help Desk at 540-231-4357.

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