Starting June 28, consumer users of Google's G Suite cloud-based productivity apps will have a new option for backing up files and photos from their PCs and laptops: Backup and Sync.
Announced yesterday, the new backup tool is designed to replace Google Drive for Mac/PC. However, Backup and Sync won't roll out automatically to business users with paid G Suite services such as Basic, Business, and Enterprise.
Instead, enterprise users will eventually have a separate, business-focused backup option: Drive File Stream. Currently available through an early adopter program, Drive File Stream is expected to launch later this year, according to Google.
Anywhere, Anytime Backup Access
Designed to ensure users have anywhere, anytime backup access to their computer files and photos, Backup and Sync will be rolled out over a period of a few days later this month, Google said yesterday in a blog post. Consumer users who currently rely on the desktop sync client Google Drive for Mac/PC will be able to download Backup and Sync to update their backup capabilities.
Currently, Google Drive for Mac/PC works by creating a desktop folder for syncing local files to the cloud. When users move a file to the Google Drive folder, that file is also automatically made available online, and any changes made to the desktop file will be reflected in the cloud-based version as well.
The Google Drive for Mac/PC client also integrates with Google's Photos desktop uploader, providing the same cloud-based backup capabilities for images on local devices.
Google said enterprise users with paid G Suite services will be able to upgrade to Backup and Sync if their organizations currently allow them to install Drive for Mac/PC on their computers. Other business users, however, will have to wait until Google launches its new Drive File Stream services for enterprises later this year.
Direct-from-Cloud Streaming for Enterprises
Unveiled earlier this year, Drive File Stream "allows teams to quickly stream files directly from the cloud to their computer," according to Google Drive group product manager Alex Vogenthaler.
"This means that all of your company data can be accessed directly from your laptop, even if you don't have much space left on your hard drive," Vogenthaler said in a March blog post. He added that Drive File Stream is designed to eliminate "time-consuming file syncing and any concerns about disk space."
Drive File Stream differs from other standard file syncing tools because it doesn't require users to download cloud-based files first to access them from their desktop devices, according to Google. The service is currently available as an early adopter program only for G Suite users with enterprise, business, or education subscriptions.
Google has made a number of updates to its G Suite service in recent weeks. On Monday, for instance, it added several new features to its Vault offering for legal and regulatory compliance, including new chain-of-custody metadata for exported files and search capabilities for specific time zones.
Earlier this month, Google also introduced natural language query support for Google Sheets that lets users analyze spreadsheets through direct questions rather than formula-based searches.