MSPs Cheer As Google Pools Free Cloud Storage

Google has changed the way it provides cloud storage by combining the capacity it provides users for multiple applications into a single pool.

MSPs cheered the move, saying that cloud storage news from public cloud providers helps call attention to the more complete cloud solutions they offer.

Clay Bavor, director of product management at Google, wrote in a blog post that his company is combining the 10-GB limit on free cloud storage for Gmail and the 5-GB free cloud storage limit for Drive and Google+ Photos into a 15-GB pool that can be used for those applications.

[Related: Free Cloud Storage: Customers Get What They Pay For ]

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In a separate blog post, Bavor wrote that Google Apps customers now have a combined 30-GB pool of cloud storage they can use between Google Apps and Gmail instead of the prior 25-GB limit on Google Apps and 5-GB limit on Gmail.

Files created in Google Apps Docs, Sheets and Slides applications do not count against the 30-GB total.

By combining the different free cloud storage limits together into a unified storage pool, end-user customers get enhanced flexibility, Bavor wrote.

"With this new combined storage space, you won't have to worry about how much you're storing and where. For example, maybe you're a heavy Gmail user but light on photos, or perhaps you were bumping up against your Drive storage limit but were only using 2 GB in Gmail. Now it doesn't matter, because you can use your storage the way you want," he wrote.

Eryck Bredy, president of BNMC, an Andover, Mass.-based MSP, said that no matter how Google expands its free storage, the fact is that most customers see cloud storage as only part of a complete service.

BNMC sells cloud storage as part of a mix with other managed services including help desk, managed email, patch management and so on, and can outsource all the IT needs of smaller companies and many of the requirements of larger customers, Bredy said.

"Google doesn't compete with us," he said. "They offer only a piece of the puzzle. We see Google actually helping us by increasing awareness and helping us differentiate our services. We can tell our customers our services are professionally designed."

NEXT: Taking Advantage Of Google, Other Cloud Providers' Moves

Larry Velez, CTO and founder of Sinu, a New York-based MSP, said that any time companies such as Google and Dropbox talk about cloud services, it's good news for all providers.

"These companies have done a great job of getting people to understand the services business," Velez said. "As a company, we can never outspend Microsoft or Google. We have to make sure our value proposition is the same, but focus on businesses and how to make their users more productive."

This is especially true given the massive shifts going on in small businesses, which are more likely then ever to pass on any in-house hardware, Velez said.

"There's a new generation of executives who are very comfortable with the cloud," he said. "Their innermost secrets were stored on Gmail when they were in high school and college. We're surprised how much they embrace it. They're even ready for printing from the cloud, or doing CAD, even though there's no really effective way to do it."