So you’ve gotten complaints that data has been lost because it was saved on a deleted user’s My Drive. Google has heard the complaint all too many times and has produced an answer to the issue and it’s called Team Drive. The Team Drive is not a replacement for a user’s My Drive, but another system for group data management.
Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can store their files and guarantee that every member has the most up-to-date information, no matter the time or place.
In short, Team Drive is a file-sharing platform centered around team objectives. Team Drives can be shared to Groups or Users with varying levels of access to give the highest level of visibility and security to shared resources. It alleviates the need for files to be owned by a particular user, therefore eliminating the risk of deleting user accounts and losing the data. What this means for schools is that no longer will one person own data within drive that could possibly be wiped if the user was to ever leave. Instead, the team structure owns the data and will exist for as long as the team exists regardless of users coming and going.
Below is a breakdown of how Team Drive compares to My Drive:
My Drive vs. Team Drive
|What types of files can be added?||All file types*||All file types|
|Who owns files and folders?||The Organization||The individual who created the file or folder|
|Can I move files and folders?||Administrators or Team Drive Organizers can move folders||Yes|
|Can I sync files to my computer?||No. DriveFileStream will allow users to sync Team Drives||Yes|
|Sharing||All team members see the same file set.||Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.|
|How long do files I delete stay in Trash?||•Each Team Drive has its own trash.
•Files and folders in the Trash are deleted forever after 30 days.
•Members can delete specific files sooner.
|Files or folders in the Trash remain there until the user chooses “Delete Forever.”|
|Can I restore files?||Yes, if you have Edit access or full access.||Yes, if you are the owner.|
Managing Team Drive Usage
Once you determine what projects you want to be transferred to Team Drive, it is important to know that any files moved from any users My Drive to a Team drive will change ownership of the files to the Team Drive. At the same time, any content owned by someone in a different domain is not moved. The content remains in the original My Drive location.
Migrating folders creates a copy of the folder structure in the destination Team Drive. Users should update any direct links to the original folders. Moved files remain in the user’s Shared with me and recent locations. File permissions and links are not changed. People who are not Team Drive members can still access the file with previously granted permission.
Settings are evolving within Team Drives.
There are a few functionality limitations within Team Drives in which you should be aware. First is the fact Team Drive only allows data folders to branch up to 20 folders deep. Typically that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is still notable. The max direct membership is 600 per drive and total membership is limited to a max of 50,000 with users only able to create up to a maximum of 100,000 files per Drive.
User limitations are also something to be aware of as a potential issue when implementing Team Drive. As of now, users have the same default level of access across all files and folders in a Team Drive and by default, users can only add files they own to a Team Drive. At the same time, users with full access to a Team Drive can take ownership of a file by moving to their My Drive and those full access users can also add external users to the Team Drive. Files can only exist in one location
Lastly, it is important to note that most content compliance tools presently do not function with Team drive and there is no ability to sync local files to shares.
The limitations are definitely there (glaringly), but Team Drives is starting in the right direction and is evolving on a daily basis as Google takes input from Edu Domains and implements changes and improvement. Stay tuned for further improvements. With that said, if you are interested in keeping up to date on updates, changes, and new features pushed out from Google, check out the Amplified IT Pulse service.
A Google for Education (GFE) Pulse Service offers schools and districts the ability to keep informed and up to date on all things Google during the school year. Utilizing our standard GFE Support packages, regular cadence calls with Amplified IT Consultants will be scheduled and you will receive critical information regarding updates and changes to G Suite. Exploration of key and new Admin Console settings will ensure compliance and pro-active alignment with district initiatives.
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