UW-Madison Box: Contract & Quota FAQ

We have received a lot of questions around the future of the UW-Madison Box service, the new quotas and alternative storage recommendations. We have tried our best to compile what we know so far. We will update this information as we know more about the future state and develop improved recommendations.

UW-Madison Box: Contract Questions

Is UW-Madison Box going away?

No! We renewed the Box contract for 2021 and we are working to keep the UW-Madison Box service sustainable without unlimited storage. We expect Box to be part of the campus portfolio of services for the foreseeable future.

When does our current contract with Box end?

The current Box contract ends on 12/31/2021.

The contract automatically renews annually until either party decides to terminate. We have a 3 year agreement that sets licensing costs through 12/31/2023.

How much storage is included in our Box contract?

The over all storage limit for our enterprise was not defined in our 2021 Box license agreement. Our current understanding is that we have 1,800 terabytes of storage for use across 100,000 license seats.

UW-Madison Box: Storage and Quotas

How much data is currently stored in the UW-Madison Box Service?

2/14/2021: 849TB (terabytes)

UW-Madison Box storage growth rate was approximately 1TB per day prior to implementing storage quotas on 6/15/2020. In the last 6 months our storage has remained static at ~850TB.

Is there an option for unlimited storage in UW-Madison Box?

No. Box is no longer offering unlimited storage as part of their Higher Education license agreement.

The end of unlimited storage was announced at our 2020 contract renewal in December 2019. This change came as a large shock to us and many other universities. Going forward UW-Madison will receive a set storage allocation as part of our Box contract and it will be up to us to manage account growth in order to remain within the total storage allocation.

Box has changed the expected 2021 storage allocation multiple times since announcing the end of unlimited storage. Current understanding is that we have 1,800TB.

What is the storage quota assigned to UW-Madison Box accounts?

50GB (gigabytes) is the storage allocated to all new Box accounts.

What is the storage quota assigned to UW-Madison Box Project Directories?

50GB (gigabytes) is the storage allocated to all new Box Project Directories.

How were quota determined for existing UW-Madison Box accounts?

Quota on pre-existing Box accounts and Project Directories were determined based on account storage occupancy on 6/15/2020.

  • Accounts with 40GB or less storage had their quota set to 50GB.
  • Accounts over 40GB had a quota set that included a buffer for limited growth. The buffer ranged between 10GB and 100GB depending on the size of the account.
    • Example 1: An account that had 60GB on 6/15/2020 had its quota set to 75GB.
    • Example 2: An account that had 465GB on 6/15/2020 had its quota set to 565GB.

Will I be notified if I am near my quota?

Yes

Every Monday we send an automated notification to all UW-Madison Box accounts with less than 10GB of storage remaining. For more information see UW-Madison Box - Quota notifications

Box does not provide any native tools for alerting users when they are approaching their quota limit. We do hope to improve our own notifications over time.

Will data be deleted from my Box account if I reach the quota limit?

NO!

We will never automatically delete data Owned by an active Box account.

What happens when I reach the quota limit?

When your Box account reaches your assigned quota you will notice the following:

  • You, and collaborators, will no longer be able to upload files to folders Owned by your account.
  • You will be unable to restore deleted items you own from your Trash.
  • Viewing and downloading files will function normally.
  • You will still be able to upload files to folders where you are a collaborator but not the Owner (co-owner, editor, uploader, etc).

How do I view my quota?

You can view your current Box storage usage and quota in Account Settings from the Box WebApp. See UW-Madison Box - View account storage usage and limit for instructions.

What if my account already has more than 50GB of storage space?

Accounts that are already consuming more than 50GB of storage space will be allowed to keep that space. That may change over time as our available storage space is consumed.

Some exceptions to the statement above:

  1. Backups: If you are using Box as a backup solution rather than for collaboration and sharing we request that you start investigating other solutions. Bucky Backup is a good place to start. Your department IT support may also have recommendations or local services dedicated to this purpose.
  2. Personal Files: If you are using Box to store personal data we request that you create a personal Box account for those files rather than consuming storage in the UW-Madison Box service.

Will my quota be reduced?

At this time we are not automatically reducing quotas on accounts. That may change over time as our available storage space is consumed. Any change to quotas will be broadly communicated to campus.

Long term we need the majority of accounts to be capped at 50GB but we hope we can accomplish that primarily through attrition rather than actively shrinking accounts.

Can I have my quota increased?

Maybe

We already have 2,200+ accounts that are at or over the 50GB limit. We believe that we will have enough storage space under our UW-Madison Box license to grant a limited number of accounts additional storage space up to 200GB. During the Spring 2021 semester we are prioritizing requests related to remote instruction and research. We are still asking individuals to pursue file cleanup before requesting more space and we are happy to provide file reports to assist you in cleanup. See UW-Madison Box - Storage Consultation and Quota Increase

What if I need more space?

We continue to be very cautious about where we grant quota increases. If you require more storage space we are requesting that you remove duplicate or unneeded files, move non-university files to a personal account and move file backups to an alternative backup solution before requesting a Box quota increase.

Can I purchase more Box storage space?

No

A number of groups have requested the ability to purchase additional Box storage. We are aware that there is campus interest in offering this as an option but purchasing additional storage is not available at this time.

UW-Madison Box: Alternatives

Do I need to move to a different storage service?

Not necessarily.

We expect the UW-Madison Box service to be part of the campus portfolio of services for the foreseeable future. However, we will no longer be able to provide box accounts with unlimited storage.

There are some circumstances where we are recommending that you transition to a different service:

  1. Backups: If you are using Box as a backup solution rather than for collaboration and sharing we request that you start investigating other solutions. Bucky Backup is a good place to start. Your department IT support may also have recommendations or local services dedicated to this purpose.
  2. Personal Files: If you are using Box to store personal data we request that you create a personal Box account for those files rather than consuming storage in the UW-Madison Box service.
  3. Just getting start with Box: If you or your team are just getting started with Box and you know you will need more than 50GB we recommend that you use a different cloud storage and collaboration service such as Google Drive or Office 365 OneDrive

What collaboration and file storage services are available to campus?

There are a number of file storage options available both campus-wide and at the school/college/division level. We do not have a complete campus inventory at this time and we recognize that gap. Below is a partial list of DoIT led services but please check back for updated information.

Campus File Storage:

Consumer Cloud Collaboration and File Sharing:

Research Data Services (RDS) also maintains the handy UW-Madison Data Storage Finder.

Which storage service should I choose?

We get this question a lot and there is not a simple answer. What we find is that file storage or file collaboration choices tend to follow group culture more closely than actual business requirements. We can offer some suggestions for things to think about when you are trying to select a solution.

  1. Who will you be collaborating with?
  2. Do all collaborators have access to the campus network or WiscVPN?
  3. What file types do you work with most frequently? (e.g. Microsoft documents, Google docs, pdf's, images, video or sound files, raw datasets)
  4. Do you require the ability to do real time co-authoring?
  5. How much storage do you expect to require?
  6. Is network performance likely to be an issue? (e.g real time data acquisition or processing)
  7. What type of data are you storing (e.g. Public, Sensitive or Restricted data)?
  8. Are you legally or contractually required to keep copies of the data for a specific length of time?

One of the barriers to providing good recommendations is that we do not have a complete inventory of storage options available campus-wide and at the school/college/division level. As we work to address that gap we hope to also provide a decision matrix that incorporates the questions listed above to assist in determining which solution or solutions you might select.

What if I am a researcher?

If you are a researcher on campus there are resources specifically for you. Research Data Services (RDS) can help with research data management and has a great matix that outlines the Data Storage and Backup options recommended for researchers. The Research Cyberinfrastructure Strategic Initiative also provides technology and support to UW-Madison researchers.

Can I use UW-Madison Box for backup storage?

No.

The Box Higher-Ed agreement specifically states that Box should not be used as a primary data back-up repository or for the storage of data that is not intended for regular access and use. We also expect future agreements to include stronger language regarding our obligation to enforce this provision.

We are aware that there are still many places where campus documentation recommends using Box for backups. We are working to locate document owners and updated directions appropriately.

Can I store non-university or personal files in the UW-Madison Box?

Acceptable use of Information Technology Resources allows minimal use for private or personal purposes of most IT resources.

Storing non-university data in Box was not a concern when we had unlimited storage. With the change in Box contract we are requesting that individuals using Box to store personal data create a personal Box account for those files rather than consuming storage in the UW-Madison Box service.




Keywords:box box.net quota storage contract questions faq end unlimited alternatives   Doc ID:102615
Owner:Jeannine B.Group:Box
Created:2020-05-28 18:09 CDTUpdated:2021-06-23 10:21 CDT
Sites:Box, DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  2   0