How an admin can monitor Google Workspace storage

How an admin can monitor Google Workspace storage

Routinely checking workspace storage not only helps an administrator identify major changes in storage usage of individual and shared drives, but also ensures that accounts are staying under storage limits.

A Google Workspace admin page on a computer.
Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

A Google Workspace admin has at least two important reasons for tracking workspace storage usage: To monitor usage versus storage caps and to identify major usage changes. Workspace admins may want to monitor usage specifically if the organization is on a plan like Google Workspace Business Starter, which limits storage to 30 GB per user.

While 30GB may be sufficient for many purposes, this is significantly less than the 2TB per user pooled storage, 5TB per user, or essentially unlimited storage available on other plans. Total usage includes not only Drive storage, but also email and photo storage.

Regular storage monitoring can also alert an administrator to changes in storage usage of individual or shared drives. For example, a sudden spike in storage usage may be due to accidental deletion of data, while a significant drop could indicate a massive transfer of video files. Both changes may require additional inquiries and discussions.

These types of memory usage changes remain a problem even when memory limitations are not in and of themselves a limitation, such as: B. Workspace Enterprise plans that offer as much storage as your business needs.

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How to check Google Workspace storage

To review and manage storage, a Google Workspace admin with the appropriate permissions must log into the Admin Console and then select Storage – either in the left-hand menu or in the Storage field on the main Dashboard.

In the Admin Console, the Storage section shows the total storage used with a summary of the data stored in specific services such as Google Drive, Gmail and Photos as shown in Figure A. Two sub-sections list the largest memory usage. One is sorted by user accounts and the other by shared drives. This helps you identify specific people and teams that are consuming significant storage space.

Figure A

The Storage section in the Admin Console shows the total storage space used.  In addition, the system will display both users and shared drives that are using the most disk space.
The Storage section in the Admin Console shows the total storage space used. In addition, the system will display both users and shared drives that are using the most disk space.

I suggest that an admin review this information on a monthly basis. This routine check can help identify major changes in time so that accidentally deleted data can be easily recovered since most Google services keep data that has been moved to the Trash for 30 days.

How to set storage limits for Google Workspace

Select Manage as indicated by the arrow in Figure A if you want to configure storage limits for your organization. You can manage limits for each organizational unit separately. For example, you might not want to set limits on full-time employees, but instead want to configure storage limits for an organizational unit that is configured with all part-time or temporary employees. Similarly, a school administrator may choose to set different limits for teachers, staff, or students.

First, make sure you have selected the organizational unit you want, as in Figure Bwhere the column with Users, Groups and Organizational Units is displayed.

Figure B

A Google Workspace admin can set a storage limit for an organizational unit for either individual accounts or shared drives.
A Google Workspace admin can set a storage limit for an organizational unit for either individual accounts or shared drives.

Next, you can enable limits for either users or shared drives. The user storage limit allows you to ensure that no single user in the selected OU can exceed a certain amount of storage. Remember that the limit is the total data stored in an account’s Google Drive, Gmail, Photos, and other Workspace-connected apps.

Alternatively, you can limit the size of data stored on shared drives for the selected organizational unit. Limiting the size of shared drives can be helpful to ensure teams don’t use shared drives for large amounts of data. In some cases, this can be of particular importance for organizations that rely on shared drives for external collaboration.

What is your experience with workspace storage?

If you’re a Google Workspace admin, how often do you review storage usage for your organization? Have you decided to configure storage limits for part of your organization – either for groups of users or shared drives? How often do you contact individual users or shared drive managers to discuss important storage changes identified during routine storage audits? Mention or message me on Mastodon (@awolber) to let me know how you monitor and manage Google Workspace storage for your organization.

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