June 14, 2024

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After disrupting businesses, the ceiling on confidential files in Google Drive is over for the time being

After Business Disruption, Google Drive’s Secret Files Ceiling Is Dead for Now – Ars Technica

Google

Google is reversing its decision to cap file creation on Google Drive. About two months ago, the company decided to cap all Google Drive users at 5 million files, even if they were paying for extra storage. The company did it in the worst possible way, rolling out the cap as a complete surprise and with no prior communication. Some users have logged in only to find that they are suddenly over the new limit with millions of files and unable to upload new files until they have deleted enough to reach the threshold. some of these users were comp which had a sudden file cap that brought down their systems, and because Google never announced that the change was coming, many people initially thought the limitation was a mistake.

Apparently, sunlight really is the best antiseptic. The story made the tech news rounds on Friday, and Ars has Google on record saying the file cover was not a bug and was in fact “a safeguard to prevent our system from being misused in a way that could affect the stability and integrity of our system.” After the weekend backlash over the “Secret Google Drive File Cover!” Google announced on Twitter Monday night was backsliding:

Google told us that it initially introduced the restrictions to stop what it called “misuse” of Drive, and with a tweet saying that Google wants to “explore alternative ways to ensure a great experience for everyone,” it looks like we may see more types of drive restrictions in the future. Google has been on a cost-cutting mission for the past year, and it looks like the company wants to do something to block Drive’s more resource-intensive users.

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The problem with the Drive limit is that Google charges people for Drive storage, and the limit you sell is measured in gigabytes and terabytes. Google Workspace Business accounts get access to 5TB of storage for standard accounts, with unlimited options available if you contact Google and negotiate with their salespeople. Google One, the consumer-level option for more storage at Google, goes up to 30 TB, which costs $150 per month. Drive also isn’t just a clone of Dropbox, as Google encourages developers to build a “Drive API” into their apps, giving developers an easy way to add cloud storage to their products.

The 5 million file limit applied to all of these people, and it was ridiculously small for most levels of Google storage. If you have all 4KB files, you can get to 5 million files in about 20GB. For some time, Google has been selling people storage that they can’t use because of this new limit, and it’s not documented anywhere.

in Answer To the retraction announcement tweet, Google added the line of the horn: “If we need to make changes, we will notify users in advance.”

The complete lack of communication was absolutely shocking. The original february thread on Engine Issue Tracker It is a sysadmin’s nightmare, with users sharing stories like “We have a critical animal health business operating system currently affected by this. This is causing massive disruption to tens of thousands of users in practice and their work on a daily basis.” Another user said, “This issue is currently affecting all of our sites across the UK, and we were unable to use the full PMS integration due to this issue.”

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These problems could have been avoided if Google had simply communicated its plans.

The Google Workspace team, of which Drive is a part, knows how to run enterprise software. The group has it all blog post and support for an article system where changes are often announced months in advance. Workspace users get Option For a slower, more deliberate release schedule, there is also a public calendar for Google Workspace feature releases. For some inexplicable reason, all commonly used communication and application channels have gone out the window. This change was implemented directly into production without warning, while officials were left scrambling to figure out what was wrong.

It’s good that Google reversed this bizarre decision, but how did that happen in the first place? Why was standard operating procedure not followed? Workspace is a product built to support business, and companies want stability. Purposefully breaking business settings without warning cannot be justified. Everyone on the Workspace team should know that, but somehow none of that corporate knowledge affected Google’s overall actions.