ARCHIVED: About the Box retirement

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Why IU will no longer offer Box storage

Box is dramatically raising its prices, and is ending its unlimited storage offering. Because of these changes, IU will no longer offer Box storage as of March 2021. Student, faculty, and staff individual files will be migrated to either Microsoft OneDrive at IU or Google at IU My Drive. Since IU has existing contracts with these companies, this move will be a better use of university resources.

UITS is still working out the many details to make this change as seamless as possible, and will take into account the peak usage times in the academic year to minimize disruption.

Data privacy

As with other IT service contracts, IU's contracts with Microsoft and Google include privacy protections that prevent the unauthorized (and unlawful) access, sharing, or monetization of IU data stored through these cloud services.

Stability with Microsoft and Google

Through contracts the university has in place with these companies, IU students, faculty, staff have access to a broad range of Microsoft and Google products beyond storage (operating systems, email, productivity software, and so on). Given that OneDrive and Google My Drive are part of these widely used vendor ecosystems, it is less likely that IU will move away from these companies.

Timeline for moving from Box

Files in Box will become read-only once they have been migrated. After your files are migrated, you will no longer be able to save new files to Box. Box access for all IU users will be terminated in May 2021.

IU has a large quantity of data in Box. Migrating all of IU's data could take over four months, but UITS will make every effort to speed up this process.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, transfer speeds in and out of Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are currently slower than usual. To minimize disruption during fall and spring semesters, and to complete our migration by the end of our contract, UITS is aiming to move as much data as possible (approximately 95% of users) out of Box during summer 2020.

How data will be migrated

UITS has contracted with a company called SkySync to migrate the university's Box data. Individuals had until May 22, 2020, to complete the Find your drive survey to choose either OneDrive or Google My Drive for file migration. If you didn't make a choice, OneDrive is the default solution.

You'll receive an email message one week prior to your data being migrated from Box so you'll know when to expect the change. You'll still be able to access your files and links in Box through March 12, 2021, but they will be read-only.

How to prepare

  • Start cleaning now. The best thing you can do is delete unnecessary files, and remove yourself or your unit from files or folders that you don't want or need to access.
  • Don't start moving now. Waiting to move all the items at once with the tools or vendor services UITS provides will ensure that file-sharing permissions and folder structure can be maintained. If you start moving now, you could lose your changes when the vendor service starts moving the files.
  • Capture any needed Box comments now. Box comments will not be migrated to either OneDrive or Google My Drive. If you need any of these comments for your records or business processes, cut and paste the information into the file itself or into a separate document of your choice (Word, Google Docs, Notepad, etc.).
  • Manage institutional and departmental data. Faculty and staff should move institutional and departmental data (including any information that may be needed by IU should you change positions or leave the university) into Box folders owned by a non-individual account. This will ensure continuity for your colleagues and the university. For help, contact your IT Pro; if you don't have an IT Pro, contact your campus Support Center.

    Watch for additional information about how data stored in Box accounts owned by non-individual accounts will be migrated.

  • Assess the historical value of the files in your Box account. Some of your files may be useful in documenting the history of IU. Send mail to University Archives at to walk through the records you have, what you no longer need, and what might be appropriate for transfer to your campus archives. For more, see Preserving IU History through the Box Clean Up.

Comparison of service functionalities (Box, Microsoft, Google)

OneDrive and Google My Drive offer most of the popular features of Box. For more on how the services compare, see Store and share your individual files at IU.

About co-owned folders

SkySync will move files based on the owner of the file in Box. "Co-owned" files always have an actual owner; thus, co-owned files will be migrated at the same time as the other files belonging to that owner.

Data retention and Box

Box will not retain data after the retirement, so it's important that data you need is migrated from Box to appropriate storage before May 2021.

How you can prepare your unit

  • Don't build new processes around Box. Investigate the options that use OneDrive or Google My Drive.
  • Investigate current processes around Box. Find out how others within your unit are using Box. Use that information to inform discussions with your unit leader about which service would best meet your needs. Leaders of each unit will need to communicate their decisions about which service will be used because individuals will choose for themselves which service content will be moved to.

Where to store Restricted and Critical data

Both Google at IU Secure Storage and Microsoft at IU Secure Storage may be used for Critical or Restricted data, with the exception of credit card and Payment Card Industry (PCI) data. For further details, see About dedicated file storage services and IT services with storage components appropriate for sensitive institutional data, including research data containing protected health information.

Active Directory groups and OneDrive

All Active Directory groups are federated to Azure AD now, but for use in most Microsoft 365 security roles, they will need to be mail-enabled. This can include ACM/Grouper groups.

Effect on established workflows for external collaborators and organizations

OneDrive and Google My Drive offer many of the popular features of Box. For a feature comparison of the three services, refer to the tables in Store and share your individual files at IU.

Protection of university data from accidental storage in someone's personal Google or Microsoft account

UITS will continue to promote the proper storage of IU data in IU-owned Microsoft or Google accounts. To prevent the accidental improper storage of IU files in personal accounts:

  • OneDrive: Both OneDrive on the web and OneDrive desktop applications have branding that clearly indicates when IU space is being accessed, rather than personal accounts.
  • Google My Drive: Essentially, Google always treats the first account logged into as the default account.

    You can get around this by using separate or incognito browsers for work and personal use. To do so, create a Chrome browser profile that, when enabled, will ignore your personal accounts. Upcoming features such as Google at IU Shared Drives will also help manage this.

These items will be highlighted in future communications, in IT Community Partners presentations, and in the Knowledge Base.

This is document beqp in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-06-26 15:44:59.