Box Retirement Project

There are big changes coming to U-M approved storage vendors. Starting in December 2021, U-M will no longer offer Box as a storage solution. ITS is committed to guiding the university community through this change and migrating everyone’s data out of Box and to other storage solutions.

Why are we moving out of Box?

Box has informed U-M that at the end of our current contract, they will raise their prices and end their unlimited storage offering for educational institutions. Remaining with Box storage with these constraints is simply not an option for U-M.

We realize this is a big change for the university community, and ITS wants to make this process as seamless as possible. ITS has created a project team that includes campus IT staff, and we will work together to ensure we take the organizational demands into account and migrate when most appropriate. 

Where will we move our data?

We are investigating the most appropriate options for different use cases, including storage options for restricted/regulated data such as PHI. See our Data Storage Finder to see possible storage solutions for your needs.   

What about my restricted data?

Continue to store files containing sensitive, regulated data that is not approved for Google Drive in Box. As per U-M policy, request a Shared Box Account for any PHI data you or your team/department has in Box. Having this data in a Shared Account will also make the migration to the most appropriate storage solution more straightforward for you and the Box Migration team. See Shared Accounts in U-M Box and U-M Google for more information on how to request a Shared Account and the Sensitive Data Guide for information on data types and storage permissions.

When will we start moving data from U-M Box?

We have already begun to move alumni and retirees who are no longer eligible for U-M Box accounts. We are in the early stages of exploring how to best help the university community decrease its use of Box and migrate to other options. We realize this may be an inconvenience for some, and are committed to engaging with all campus stakeholders to create a timely and transparent transition process that will minimize disruption to the teaching, learning, administration, and research activities that are critical to the university. 

How will our data be migrated?

ITS is currently investigating options for migration tools. We will continue to update the university community on our progress. Until then, we are asking users to begin preparing for this change.

What should I do now to prepare for this change?

  • Start cleaning up your Box account. Delete unnecessary files and remove yourself and/or your unit from files and folders that have been shared with you, but for which access is no longer needed. 
  • Investigate a U-M Dropbox account. Dropbox at U-M has many of the same features and permissions as Box and is now available to all active Faculty, Staff and Students. 
  • Investigate Google Shared drives (formerly known as Team Drives). Review Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) and My Drive Differences for more information on the features of both and how they compare. 
  • Investigate other storage solutions through the Data Storage Finder. Use the filters as appropriate for your storage needs. The Data Storage Finder includes information such as storage type, sharing options, special access methods, and pricing where applicable.  

What is the timeline for migration out of Box?

We will apply file space quotas to Box accounts in March 2021. Because the university community has a large amount of data in Box, we need to start this effort immediately and thoughtfully. We understand this move from Box has a large impact on U-M faculty, staff, and students. Because of this, we are endeavoring to learn as much as we can from users to prepare.

Faculty and Staff:

Take this opportunity to move Institutional and departmental data to a Shared Box Account to ensure cohesion for your colleagues and the university. See Shared Accounts in U-M Box and U-M Google for more information on how to request a Shared Account 

How can our unit prepare?

  • Do not build new processes and workflows around Box. 
  • Investigate current processes around Box. Talk to others within your unit and find out how they are using Box. Use that information to inform decisions with your unit leaders about which storage solutions would best meet your needs.

Where can we get more information?

Check this website for updates and watch for communications from ITS around the move away from Box. We have also assembled a team to engage with Unit IT and the university community to better understand their use of Box and assist with migration.