Graphic with a document icon and text Project: Storage@ISU

Project Overview

Due to a recent change in Iowa State University's contract with Box, also known as CyBox, Information Technology Services (ITS) in partnership with the Technology Enterprise Advisory Committee (TEAC) is reassessing the use of the CyBox cloud storage software, campus-wide. As a result of this contract change, the unlimited data storage once available to students, faculty and staff on Box is no longer an option without incurring additional cost to the university.

To reduce the financial impact of this change to Iowa State University, Iowa State community members can help in reducing their their CyBox usage to help reach the 1.2 PB total storage goal.  On this project webpage you will find up-to-date information about this project, instructions on ways to reduce your volume of files stored on Box, and questions and answers about the project as it progresses.

Check back for more details as they are made available. Contact ITS at or reach out to your local IT professional for assistance throughout this project.

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Project Details

As of November 2020, ISU’s data consumed 1.8 petabytes (PB) of storage space. To avoid significant cost increases to the university, this number should be reduced to 1.2 petabytes by June 30, 2021. As Iowa State community members help in reducing CyBox data, you will encounter two types of data: 1) individual and 2) college/unit. 

Individual data includes files you create or regularly access for work or learning purposes, but do not have a need to share with more than a few individuals on a regular basis; in CyBox, you would be considered the “owner” of this type of data. To determine the amount of data you are currently using on CyBox and explore ways to reduce your usage, please view the CyBox: Tips for Reducing your Digital Storage Usage knowledge article

College/unit data includes files used by members of a unit or department to fulfill that college/unit’s mission and business. For employees, it is expected that college/unit data will be the primary location for data storage in CyBox as most work is related to the college/unit's business.

When compared to individual data, college/unit data offers a significant advantage in that college/unit data does not deactivate when an individual leaves the university. While individual data is deactivated upon an employee’s departure, college/unit data is owned by the institution and thus does not deactivate and require additional work to restore. The same applies for research data. ITS encourages researchers who store datasets on CyBox to do so in college/unit folders so access to the data is not interrupted if your personal account is deactivated upon your departure.

While we are working collectively to the 1.2 PB goal by reducing data, no data quotas will be instituted for individual or existing college/unit CyBox data. 

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Current Status

We have all been working together to reduce our storage footprint! Since December 3 when news of the need to reduce the use of CyBox at Iowa State University was first announced, the total storage used has gone from 1.8 PB to 0.793 PB, exceeding the goal of 1.2 PB

Everyone can continue in helping reduce the amount of data stored on CyBox by reviewing their files and deleting obsolete, duplicate, or out-of-date files and removing personal or non-work/class related items from their CyBox account. Individuals can also reach out to their local IT Professional with questions about reducing or moving data. Graphic showing current CyBox usage of 0.793 petabytes with goal of reducing to 1.2. 1007 terabytes removed which is 168% to goal.


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Schedule & Timeline


  • Broad communication delivered to the campus community with information of the upcoming changes.


  • New sponsored Net-IDs will, by default, have no access to CyBox. Exceptions can be requested, but approved Net-IDs will have a zero (0 GB) quota and will not be able to store any data in the sponsored Net-IDs CyBox account. They will only be able to store data in college/unit accounts.
  • New secondary Net-IDs will have a zero (0 GB) quota and will not be able to store any data in the secondary Net-IDs CyBox account. They will only be able to store data in college/unit accounts.


  •  ITS and college/unit IT begin collaborating with customers to reduce data and explore file storage options, such as OneDrive. 
  • If you have questions about your usage of CyBox, please contact your college or unit IT professional or email


  • ITS and college/unit IT professionals communicate with individuals based on their individual CyBox usage. All CyBox customers are encouraged to perform regular file reviews and remove obsolete, duplicate or out of date files. Because unlimited storage on CyBox is no longer available, it is important to only store what you need and regularly remove files you no longer have any use for.

    It is understood that many customers have a large amount of data in their CyBox folders. Please contact your local IT professional or email the Storage@ISU project team at to discuss your options. If you need the data, don't delete it. We're here to help you determine the storage option that is best for you.

    Due to successful collective cleanup efforts, no CyBox data quotas will be instituted for individual or existing college/unit CyBox data. 


  • Iowa State University is storing 1.2 PB or less in CyBox, avoiding the additional cost of $130/terabyte/year.

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Storage FAQ

ISU will be billed for all overages at the rate of $130/terabyte/year. That expense will be allocated to the parent unit of an individual for individual overages or the parent unit of a college/unit for college or unit overages.

Find out how much data you have stored on CyBox by following the Review your CyBox Storage summary instructions.

Please note: An issue has been identified and reported to Box that may impact the accuracy of the individual storage data total visible to you on Box. When you follow the instructions in the knowledge article linked above, the resulting total usage number may not be entirely accurate. Customers are welcome to continue their planned clean up of their CyBox folders. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with Box to resolve this issue. For more information, please review the Storage Usage Or File Count In My Account Is Incorrect article available on the Box support website.

Individuals are encouraged to review their files and delete obsolete, duplicate, or out-of-date files. Removing personal or non-work/class related items from their CyBox account can help you reduce your usage of Box as well. After performing a clean-up of your CyBox account consider utilizing OneDrive or Google Drive to store your individual data. These services are available to all Iowa State University students, faculty and staff at no additional cost.

Individual data is appropriate for CyBox, OneDrive or Google Drive. To determine the right storage tool for you and begin a manual migration of your data, please view the following knowledge articles available on the IT Portal.

Some customers may find it difficult to reduce their use of CyBox by removing unnecessary, obsolete or duplicate files alone. If you are interested in migrating your individual data to another cloud storage tool, resources are available to help you through the process. To determine the right storage tool for you and begin a manual migration of your data, please view the following knowledge articles available on the IT Portal.

If you are having difficulty migrating content or have questions, please contact the project team at

Customers interested in migrating their individual data from CyBox to Microsoft OneDrive can now request a managed migration to save time and internet bandwidth. To request a managed migration, please complete the Request Managed Migration to OneDrive service request available on the ISU Service Portal.

Migrations have some limits that customers should be aware of:

  1. Content shared with non-ISU partners will *not* be automitcally re-shared post migration. This is for security reasons and you will need to re-share manually after the migration is complete.
  2. Document versions do *not* transfer. Only the latest version will migrate to OneDrive.
  3. Comments do *not* transfer. NOTE: This is only referring to Box comments, i.e. comments added to files in the Box web interface. Changes to comments made within software like Microsoft Word will be included in the file if they are present in the latest version.

Migrations are incremental and you will be contacted prior to starting the first migration, when the first migration has started, and then again to schedule a time for the final migration.

Please note: This migration is a COPY and not a move of data. All of your data will stay in CyBox throughout the entire process so there is zero risk of data loss. Customers can delete their data from CyBox once testing is complete ensuring files are migrated and accessible from Microsoft OneDrive.

The decision is up to the college/unit, but our official position will be to continue recommending CyBox for college/unit data and only consider switching to OneDrive if your entire college/unit is switching to OneDrive. We will continue to discourage having data in two locations.

It is not believed that individuals choosing their own storage location represents a concern for fragmentation, but standardizing the college/unit storage location supports business continuity.

Google Drive does not offer the same level of integration and administration capabilities that CyBox and OneDrive offer. If CyBox will not work for your college/unit, ITS recommends OneDrive as the second option and not to use Google Drive for college/unit data.

Starting Friday, December 4, 2020, all new affiliate and role accounts are not able to access Box by default. 

Current affiliate, secondary and role account owners who are using CyBox to store content are encouraged to perform a file review and reduce their use of CyBox. If an individual's unit/college owns a unit or college shared folder, migrating content to those folders is also a viable option. 

Targeted communications will be sent to current affiliate, secondary and role account currently storing data on CyBox. These emails will include guidance on how to reduce the usage of Box, and how to migrate files to unit/college Box folders or away from Box entirely (OneDrive/Google Drive). 

The date by which ITS will set the 0 GB quota on all existing affiliate, secondary and role accounts is to be determined. 

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