Thanks to a statement Google made on its G Suite Updates blog in early September, millions of loyal Google Drive users had a collective heart attack.
After introducing the launch of a new application called Drive File Stream, the article dropped the bomb that Google Drive was getting the ax.
“Officially deprecated.” That’s cold blooded, Google.
And we’ve only got until December 11 to go through the grieving (and new application learning) process?
At first glance, it looks like a blow to the many businesses and organizations that rely on Google Drive file storage, sharing, and commenting for team collaboration.
The good news is that it’s actually more of a rebrand than a total teardown and rebuild. Technically, you could even say that Drive isn’t going away at all.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming changes so you and your team can avoid any interruptions in your file storage and sharing processes.
So Long Google Drive…
Most importantly, if you access your Drive space through your web browser after logging into your Google account, you may not even notice a difference in the way you interact with your files post-December 11.
To access your files the way you do now, you’ll simply be choosing from one of two new applications — Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync.
Maybe you’re wondering at this point, “if nothing’s really changing, what’s the point of all this?” The best answer to that seems to be that Drive is getting cut so that Google can force enterprise-level users to the new Drive File Stream. After all, Backup and Sync has already been around for a couple months. There was no announcement of Drive’s demise until the introduction to the new File Stream application on September 6.
All About Drive File Stream & Backup and Sync
Drive File Stream (DFS) will officially launch on September 26. So you’ll have some time to test drive it before the old Drive dies.
While there are numerous functions for Backup and Sync, DFS is straight-up intended to be utilized as a collaborative hard drive for groups and organizations. Individual members of the team store their files in separate spaces in the cloud, and all files can be accessed anywhere (assuming you’re connected to the internet) and shared with anybody else on the team. If you used Drive, you get how it all works.
Backup and Sync (BaS) might end up being your preferred Drive replacement if you need to store local backups of files on your own computer. Using Google’s analogy, BaS is a folder and Drive File Stream is a hard drive.
Here’s a direct comparison of the two options:
Put another way, Drive File Stream is designed for team collaboration, Backup and Sync is more for personal file storage. Potentially, the two can combine to cover all your needs in a way that Drive couldn’t do alone.
The Final Countdown
Drive going away isn’t going to be a big deal, but if you’re one of those people who resists change until the last possible moment (and I can relate), the real deadline you need to know isn’t December 11, 2017.
Mid-December is the date Google will stop updating Drive. On March 12, 2018, it’s for real. No more accessing that particular app after that date.
So, I suppose… prepare yourself? But you really don’t need to be prepared at all. Google’s going to make the transition easy… or else we’ll revisit this topic again in a couple months to rant.