The Importance of Archiving Google Drive Files


Let’s cut to the chase: You shouldn’t archive just your email. eDiscovery rules treat data stored in Google Docs the same as email and hard-copy documents, so you should expand your archiving plans accordingly if your staff uses Google Docs in any capacity.

An archiving solution should not only retain the current version of any Google Doc or file within Google Drive, but its complete revision history as well. You should be able to search and retrieve those documents and files quickly and accurately—whether it’s by their revision dates or any changes made to the content over time.

Outside of the education sector, Google Vault is a paid add-on for Google Apps that lets you retain, archive, search and export your organization’s email and chat messages for eDiscovery and compliance needs. In Google Vault, if an end user deletes a file from his or her personal Drive, it will no longer be discoverable for an administrator in Google Vault. This presents an enormous liability, as end users have the ability to delete files that might be relevant to legal issues. Google Vault only offers a global searching mechanism for existing files, not a true archive.

Here are other Google Vault limitations to consider:

• Your archiving solution should index documents in their entirety, but Google Vault only indexes the first hundred pages of a text file and the first 10 pages of text within PDFs.

• Google Vault can only search a maximum of 5,000 users. Your third-party archiving solution should be able to search across your entire domain regardless of size.

• Google’s strong-arm tactic of offering just one export option is a limitation also worth consideration.

When combined with the fact that files in Google Vault are vulnerable to deletion by end users, these limitations clarify why turning to a third-party vendor to archive Gmail and Drive seems a very smart choice.

Patrick O’Neal is a Solutions Specialist at Authority. Contact him at or 855-298-5200.

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