With effect from January 2022, smail features of Google Meet Recording and Google Account Storage would be considered as Google Paid-Tier services.
Currently, all institute members with the email address @smail.iitm.ac.in enjoy unlimited storage with the account, which will now be limited to ~30 GB per user starting as early as January 2022.
@smail users can expect a ~50 GB cap on storage. In his mail to the Announce Mailing List, dated November 21, 2021, the Head Computer Centre states, “C[omputer] C[entre] plans to provide an archive-type storage (not very fast) where we can move some of the content which we need/want to save but will not use on an everyday basis.”
Google’s policy changes are unclear on the associated impact on email ID’s like @alumni, @imail, @retiree and some department email addresses at the moment. Regarding Google Meet Recording, the mail clarifies that this feature is expected to be purchased by IITM and hence, likely to remain unaffected in the upcoming months.
The problem of frequent ransomware attacks in storing data locally has been raised by a few students, pointing out the importance of cloud storage space. However, the Computer Centre Head has clarified that most smail users (~90%, as per his mail) remain within the 50 GB limit and will therefore remain unaffected by the change. Solutions for those using beyond 50 GB for research purposes remain to be found but could possibly involve recovering costs through the guide, project or the relevant end user.