Box Storage Quotas FAQ

Overview

  1. What are the Box storage quotas at the University of Richmond and when did they go into effect?
  2. What happens if I am (or my department is) above the quota after July 14?
  3. What are my options for reducing my Box storage usage if I exceed the UR quota?
  4. Can I request additional Box quota?
  5. What is a DEPARTMENTAL Box account (and how does it differ from my INDIVIDUAL Box account)?
  6. How do I tell how much Box storage I’m using?
  7. Which files count against my Box storage quota?
  8. If someone shares a Box file or folder with me, does it count against my quota?
  9. How can I tell if I “own” a file or folder in Box?
  10. How can I get a list of all Box folders and files that I own?
  11. What should I use my UR Box folder for (and what should I NOT use it for)?
  12. Does Box Drive automatically backup my laptop?
  13. Can I tell how much Box storage I’m using via Box Drive?
  14. How does the quota affect Box Sync?
  15. If Box is not the solution for long-term redundant backups, what other mechanisms does the University provide for that purpose?
  16. Is there an easy way to transfer files from Box to an external drive?
  17. Is there someone in IS I should reach out to to get advice about how we should most effectively migrate some of our materials and where to?
  18. How do people check the storage amounts for the department Box folders?
  19. The Storage Used total in my Box account doesn’t seem accurate based on the file sizes that I have stored. What should I do?
  20. Why are quotas being imposed on Box accounts?

What are the Box storage quotas at the University of Richmond and when did they go into effect?

Box quota settings for individual faculty, staff, and students went into effect on July 14, 2020: 

  • Box accounts for faculty and staff have a default storage quota of 100 GB
  • Box accounts for students have a default storage quota of 10 GB.  Students also have access to Google Drive as part of their Richmond Google email accounts. 
  • Box accounts for division shared accounts (VPs/deans) have a default storage quota of 5 TB.

What happens if I am above the quota after July 14?

If your individual Box storage usage exceeds the new UR quotas, you will be “maxed out” and will not be able to add anything new to your Box account until you request and get approval from your dean or vice president for an increase.

Departmental Box folders will remain unaffected until Information Services meets with each vice president and dean to determine an appropriate quota, timeline and strategy.

NOTE:  If a document is critical for running a UR office, process, or academic program, then that document should be stored in a departmental Box folder rather than your individual Box folder.  Your individual Box folder is deleted when you leave the University, so documents that are critical to institutional operations should be stored in a departmental Box folder instead. 

What are my options for reducing my Box storage usage if I exceed the UR quota?

  • Check your Trash folder in Box and delete files that you no longer need (they count against your Box quota until they expire within 30 days).
  • If files are critical to the operation of institutional departments, work with the owners of those departmental Box folders to move the files there instead. 
  • Purge files that have no business or academic purpose (i.e., personal pictures, etc.) 
  • Purge duplicate file copies (e.g., multiple copies of the same document that may live in your folder and/or departmental folders). 
  • Purge files that do not comply with UR retention policies: https://registrar.richmond.edu/services/policies/record-retention.html 
  • Consult with Information Services if you have specialty storage needs (e.g., research computing, long-term data archives, data management plans for grants, etc.) ​​​​​​

CAUTION:  Information Services recommends that faculty and staff NOT store confidential or restricted University data on other cloud storage platforms (e.g., Dropbox, Google, etc.) nor on consumer-grade storage devices.  These alternatives may not be appropriately safeguarded and could result in data loss, data breaches and/or non-compliance with federal and state regulations as well as University policies. 

Can I request additional Box quota?

Box storage is not an unlimited nor free resource. Our campus is encouraged to support the University’s goal of “Stewardship in a Changing World” by ensuring that our Box accounts:

  • Contain no personal (non-business and non-academic) files. 
  • Contain no duplicate copies of files that may exist in other (e.g., departmental) folders 
  • Abide by University retention policies: https://registrar.richmond.edu/services/policies/record-retention.html 
  • Have been purged of files that are no longer needed or relevant for business or academic purposes.  You may also wish to delete files from your Trash folder, which count against your quota until they expire in 30 days.

If each of the above has been satisfactorily determined and your VP/dean has approved annual funding for additional permanent Box storage, please submit a Box Storage Increase Request. 

Box is the only University-endorsed storage platform that provides: 

  • File versioning, backups and disaster recovery 
  • Secure, encrypted storage and access 
  • Collaboration and sharing features 
  • Single-sign on and IT support 

Box storage costs the University $130 per terabyte per year.  The smallest increment of additional Box quota that can be purchased is 0.5 TB ($65/year). Please provide your budget index for the annual fee.

What is a DEPARTMENTAL Box account (and how does it differ from my INDIVIDUAL Box account)?

departmental Box account is owned by a University VP or academic dean and is not tied to a specific individual.  It has these characteristics: 

  • It is owned and must be approved by a University VP or academic dean.  See: https://spidertechnet.richmond.edu/TDClient/1955/Portal/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=35868 
  • It is for shared storage of documents that are critical to the continued operation of that institutional department or division. 
  • It persists beyond the employment status of any individual within that office. 
  • It should NOT be used for sharing documents outside of the University (your individual Box folder or an ‘EXTERNAL’ Box folder can be requested for off-campus sharing: https://spidertechnet.richmond.edu/TDClient/1955/Portal/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=35417). 
  • The top-level folder is assigned two or more “co-owners” that are responsible for managing the departmental resource and providing access to others within the department.  If your department already has a folder, you can view the assigned co-owners by accessing the folder from the Box web interface and clicking on the “sharing” tab on the right of the Box interface. 

An individual Box account is provided to each faculty, staff, and student as long as their status with the University remains active.   It is for working copies of documents needed for business or academic purposes, similar to the C:\ drive on a personal computer.  It has these characteristics: 

  • Can be used for sharing documents outside of the University. 
  • All contents owned by that account count against the Box storage quota for that account. 
  • All contents of an individual Box account are deleted when that person’s status with the University becomes inactive.  For this reason, any documents that are critical to a business or academic operation should be stored in a departmental Box account instead. 

How do I tell how much Box storage I’m using?

  1. Log into the Box web interface (https://box.richmond.edu
  2. Click on your Account Profile icon on the upper right of the Box interface (usually has your initials or your picture if you uploaded it) 
  3. Click on Account Settings
  4. Scroll down to Account Details and see Storage Used
  5. If you believe the Storage Used amount is inaccurate, you can try several things:
    1. Click on your Trash folder and if it has items in it, you can click the Delete All button to permanently delete the items in your trash folder (which count against your quota).
    2. You can submit a service ticket to SpiderTechNet and request that Box run a script to recalibrate the storage used by your account.  It may take Box several days to run the script depending on how busy they are.

Which files count against my Box storage quota?

Only files that you “own” count against your storage quota. 

  • If you are a “co-owner” of a folder, then those files do not count against your quota. 
  • If you are collaborating with another user in a folder they own, then those files do not count against your quota. 

If you own a Box folder and have given others the ability to upload files to it, your account will own all files uploaded to that folder and will therefore count against your quota. 

When an item is deleted from Box (moved to the trash folder), it still counts towards your overall storage until the item is purged from trash (which occurs automatically after 30 days). 

If someone shares a Box file or folder with me, does it count against my quota?

It depends upon how they share it.  If they upload a file to a folder you own, it counts against your quota.  If they share a file with you by giving you access to a file or folder they own, it does not count against your quota. 

How can I tell if I “own” a file or folder in Box?

  1. Log into the Box web interface (https://box.richmond.edu
  2. Folders:  Click on a folder and see the “Sharing” or “Details” information associated with the folder displayed on the right of the Box interface  
  3. Files: Right click on the file and select “Properties”->”File Information” 
  4. Note:  Files and folders stored in Departmental folders are owned by the University division, not by individuals. 

How can I get a list of all Box folders and files that I own?

While logged in to your box account, click in the Search bar at the top. A box will drop down with ‘Content Filters’ that you can select. In the ‘Owners’ field, enter your own email address. If you want to view just the folders that you are the owner of, under ‘File Type(s)’ select Folders. Once those options are entered, click on the magnifying glass in the search bar and a list of all files and/or folders that you are the owner of will appear. 

What should I use my UR Box folder for (and what should I NOT use it for)?

Your individual Box folder is for working copies of documents needed for business or academic purposes, similar to the C:\ drive on a personal computer.   

If a document is critical for running a UR office, process, or academic program, then that document should be stored in a departmental Box folder rather than your individual Box folder.  Your individual Box folder is deleted when you leave the University, so documents that are critical to institutional operations should be stored in a departmental Box folder instead. 

If you have computer storage needs that include any of the following, you can request a storage consultation with Information Services to research non-Box alternatives:

  • Personal files (vacation photos, etc.) 
  • Credit card numbers 
  • Documents that do not comply with UR’s retention policies: https://registrar.richmond.edu/services/policies/record-retention.html 
  • Files that exceed 15 GB in size 
  • Files that require high-speed access (e.g., high-performance computing) 
  • Backups for personal computers or similar devices 
  • Long-term file archives 
  • Documents that are no longer relevant for business or academic needs

Does Box Drive automatically backup my laptop?

No.  Box Drive is simply a pointer to your Box account that allows you to access your Box folders and files as though they were stored locally on your laptop. 

There is a Box Drive option (“Make Available Offline”) that will allow you to locally cache Box folders/files to your laptop to be able to access them when not connected to the Internet.  This essentially places a local copy of selected Box folders on your laptop.  However, this does not backup your laptop to Box.

Can I tell how much Box storage I’m using via Box Drive?

No.  Box Drive will show you all files that are accessible to you, including files that you own as well as files that others have shared with you.  Only the files that you own count against your storage quota, so Box Drive is not an accurate method for determining how much Box storage you are using.  The best way to determine your Box storage is by using the Box web interface (see FAQ above).

How does the quota affect Box Sync?

If you move files to the Box Sync location on your computer, these files will attempt to sync to your Box account. If the new files would put you over your Box sync quota, the sync will not complete and will result in a ‘Quota Exceeded’ error from Box Sync. The files will still live locally in your Box Sync location, but will not finish syncing until free space becomes available in your Box account, or your quota is increased. More information about the Quota Exceeded error from Box Sync can be found here: https://support.box.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043695654-Box-Sync-Problem-Notification-Quota-Exceeded

If Box is not the solution for long-term redundant backups, what other mechanisms does the University provide for that purpose?

It is recommended that files that contain confidential or restricted data as well as files that are critical to University academic and administrative operations be stored on Box (which is natively backed up).  If you have other data that you wish to preserve, external storage drives may be an option.  However, if the data is confidential/restricted, it is strongly recommended that it be stored on an encrypted device.

Departmental Box accounts are intended for long-term storage of files that are critical to the operations of an academic or administrative department and that need to persist beyond the employment of an individual.  These are described in more detail (and can be requested) via SpiderTechNet:

Is there an easy way to transfer files from Box to an external drive? 

CAUTION:  If data is confidential/restricted, files should only be downloaded to an encrypted digital device. You can download an entire folder or individual files to your computer by selecting the folder/files and in the available options, select Download. Once the folder or files have been downloaded to your computer, you can move or copy them to an external drive.

Is there someone in IS I should reach out to to get advice about how we should most effectively migrate some of our materials and where to? 

It is recommended that files that contain confidential or restricted data as well as files that are critical to University academic and administrative operations be stored on Box (which is natively backed up).  If you have other data that you wish to preserve, external storage drives may be an option.  However, if the data is confidential/restricted, it is strongly recommended that it be stored on an encrypted device.  You can request a storage consultation with IS if you have computer storage needs for which Box may not be well suited.

How do people check the storage amounts for the department Box folders?

This is not currently possible for departmental Box folders.  We are focusing on individual folders first and will begin reaching out to co-owners of departmental Box folders from June through November 2020 to address Box storage needs.  Until then, there is nothing you need to do with departmental Box storage other than to ensure you meet the following guidelines: 

  • Purge files that have no business or academic purpose (i.e., personal pictures, etc.) and that are not critical to the continued operation of the department or division. 
  • Purge duplicate file copies.
  • Purge files that do not comply with UR retention policies: https://registrar.richmond.edu/services/policies/record-retention.html 
  • Purge files that contain credit card numbers 
  • Purge backups for personal computers or similar devices 
  • Purge documents that are no longer relevant for business or academic needs

The Storage Used total in my Box account doesn’t seem accurate based on the file sizes that I have stored. What should I do?

If you believe that your storage total isn’t accurate, please submit a ticket to the Help Desk. The Help Desk will submit a ticket to Box Support to look in to the issue.

Why are quotas being imposed on Box accounts?

Box announced in late 2019 that it could no longer sustain its prior offer of unlimited storage at no additional cost and gave its customers two choices:  1) reduce our amount of storage to what we originally licensed (41 terabytes), or 2) start paying for the actual storage we were using.  We negotiated a one-year reprieve to give us the opportunity to plan, communicate and implement changes before the bill becomes due in January 2021.

We have and will continue to evaluate alternatives to Box.  We considered migrating to other storage platforms such as Office365, Google, DropBox, etc., but this would have been the most disruptive option, particularly in the short-term.  It would require everyone to quickly learn and adopt yet another new platform and would realistically take 18-24 months for faculty, staff and students to migrate their own files and access permissions as well as mitigate incompatible file types (e.g., Box Notes).  Even so, after moving to a different cloud platform, there is no guarantee that a new provider will not similarly change their terms and costs in the future.

Therefore, the easiest and least disruptive option in the short-term was to re-establish Box quotas.  A 100 GB quota is more than three times larger than UR’s average Box usage in 2020 and accommodates 98% of our community members’ existing needs.  We believe this is the best option until we have more time and capacity to vet and plan alternatives.

History:  Prior to moving to Box in 2015, University faculty, staff, and students stored computer files on a campus-hosted platform called Netfiles, with a fixed quota of 10 GB for faculty/staff and 1 GB for students.  The campus community began requesting more collaboration and file sharing features (both inside and outside of UR), access and integration with mobile devices and apps, and more storage.  After evaluating options, the University chose Box due to its features, compatibility with existing file types, security, disaster recovery protection, FERPA & HIPAA compliance, and references from highly regarded higher education institutions.  As a result, the University migrated to Box in March 2015 with faculty/staff quotas of 30 GB and student quotas of 10 GB.  Six months later, Box announced unlimited storage at no additional cost, so quotas were removed from all University accounts.  Over the next 5 years, the University of Richmond and many other higher education institutions took full advantage of Box’s offering.  UR’s Box storage grew by over 1600% between 2015 and 2019 and without quotas, was projected to reach 1 petabyte by summer 2022.

 

 

Details

Article ID: 100392
Created
Mon 3/9/20 3:58 PM
Modified
Fri 10/2/20 4:49 PM

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