"inactive" or "archive" flag maps to less-expensive storage
Provide ability to flag/classify files and folders in a way that allows Box to move them to a less-expensive storage offering on the back-end. This can be referred to as an "inactive" or "archive" flag.
BENEFITS & BACKGROUND
During the Box Higher Education Community Monthly Open Discussion on January 11th, an idea to submit to Box Pulse was formed, and seemed to have support from all in attendance (25-30 institutions).
Box acknowledges that there is a growing concern around constantly increasing storage, and the costs associated with it. The majority of files stored in Box are perceived (or actively reported) as being "inactive" and yet those files are costing Box and their customers the same amount. As a result, organizations are searching for alternative cost-effective solutions to move their data into. Implementing a separate solution for a subset of Box data requires significant technical, administrative, procedural, and support overhead.
Given a user or admin-driven active/inactive flag, Box could engineer their platform to use cheaper back-end storage for inactive data, and more permanent storage for active data, ultimately providing a more cost-effective service.
Administrators could be given the ability to set the parameters for what makes something an "inactive" file, and then allow end-users to tag their own content.
Allowing a view and controls around "active" vs "inactive" content, means Box could then provide X amount of "active" storage, and Y amount of "inactive" storage quota either included in the price, or for an additional fee (at better a less-expensive per TB rate). Organizations can then choose to deploy the associated quota controls and processes based on their own budget and needs for active and inactive storage.
Market opportunity -- other cloud providers do not provide user-initiated controls for this kind of approach to data storage and management. If the providers are implementing anything like this, it is not transparent to the user. Box may have an opportunity to retain users and their data, by providing a more cost-effective glacier/cold-line/archive/inactive data storage offering, side-by-side with the rest of the Box platform.
Box storage platform already has optimizations in place to intelligently detect active (most recently and frequently used) data, and migrate it to cost-effective tiers. Great suggestion though!