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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
50GB (gigabytes) is the storage allocated to all new Box accounts.
50GB (gigabytes) is the storage allocated to all new Box Project Directories.
Quota on pre-existing Box accounts and Project Directories were determined based on account storage occupancy on 6/15/2020.
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.
We will never automatically delete data Owned by an active Box account.
When your Box account reaches your assigned quota you will notice the following:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
Research Data Services (RDS) also maintains the handy UW-Madison Data Storage Finder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.