February 25, 2022
Storage Solutions with Gopher for Drive
It is well-known that, in July 2022, Google Workspace for Education will be imposing limitations on storage. As institutions adapt to these changes, school leaders are seeking tools like Gopher Pack to monitor storage.
Eagle Grove Community School District (EGCSD) serves K-12 students in north-central Iowa communities. “We got involved with CDW early on. I met them (the founders) at an ISTE conference,” Lance Lennon, District Technology Director, said. “We have been working in partnership with CDW for many years.”
As an early and long-standing customer, EGCSD has seen CDW grow into the EdTech consultancy it is today and has experienced, first-hand, how our products and services have enhanced the capabilities of Google Workspace for Education. “There’s no manual for Google (Workspace for Education), so CDW’s support is helpful,” Lance said. EGCSD was a pilot institution when CDW introduced the Audit service, has been a member of the Google Technical Collaborative, and currently uses the Gopher Tools pack. “I’m a one-man shop here. I use Gopher for Chrome, for Users, and for Groups a lot to manage our fleet of Chromebooks, add new users, and monitor created groups,” he added.
The New Gopher Tool
Like all IT departments operating a Google Workspace for Education domain, Lance was made aware of the coming changes for Google for Education’s storage policy. “I can’t say I was shocked. It’s just the way it works. You can’t expect (Google’s) enterprise-level tools without a fee,” he explained. “Storage isn’t free, but the prices are reasonable.”
While the school district was facing no storage challenges, Lance wanted to figure out what effects the update would have on their domain, what the usage trends were among their stakeholders, and what they needed to remain in compliance for storage size. When CDW launched Gopher for Drive, a tool that provides high-level user and file information about the total storage usage in an institution’s Google Workspace for Education domain, Lance did not hesitate to add it into his regular maintenance procedures.
Lance stated, “Storage usage wasn’t an issue in the past because it was free, but now it’s something to watch.” Within the Domain level, Shared Drives level, and Drive level reports generated in Sheets by Gopher for Drive, IT admins can view overall domain storage usage, view user storage usage, and view large files for users, filtering by file type and file size. As a result, institutions receive a snapshot of how much storage is being used, who the top users are, and what files they are storing. “It gave me a 30,000 foot overview,” Lance said.
With that information, he was able to have individual conversations with staff using large amounts of the domain’s storage and reinforce storage policies. When teachers return in August for the 2021-2022 school year, Lance will be leading a professional development session about storage. “I’m going to give them the ‘Here’s what you should be storing’ rules so that they’re more conscious about what they are keeping. They shouldn’t store personal things on the school’s domain. Especially since those files can be requested by the government at any time,” he explained.
Gopher for Drive has been so helpful to EGCSD’s management of Google Workspace that Lance plans to use the tool to do a monthly storage audit to monitor storage usage. “This tool can even be used to justify the use of Google Workspace apps to the board or other district leaders,” added Lance.
Google for Education’s 2022 limitations in storage may cause concern for some, but it doesn’t have to. Institutions can proactively avoid storage issues with CDW’s Gopher for Drive, which provides insights on how and where domain storage is being used.
When asked what he would say to other institutions that are considering Gopher for Drive, Lance said, “For admins who need to pull data quickly, in a simple format, this is a great tool. It’s easy to use since it’s the same UI as the other Gopher tools, it gives you more valuable information than you’ll have access to without it, it saves you time in manually performing tasks, and it’s free!”