Greatly enhanced Google Backup and Sync to (mostly) replace Drive
Later this month -- June 28 specifically -- Google is to launch a new tool: Backup and Sync. Aimed primarily at consumers, the tool is designed to backup files and photos, and make them accessible from any device.
Backup and Sync is described as "the latest version of Google Drive for Mac/PC, which is now integrated with the Google Photos desktop uploader," and for most users it will completely replace Drive. Corporate and enterprise users are advised to hold out until the release of Drive File Stream later in the year, but for everyone else, Backup and Sync opens up the possibility of automatically backing up entire hard drives.
At the moment, Google Drive only monitors and synchronizes the contents of the main Drive folder. When Backup and Sync is released, it will be possible to add other folders to the list and have them continuously backed up to your online storage. Google points out that the tool will "respect any current Drive for Mac/PC settings in the Admin console."
Google is not going to force the changes on everyone. The company says:
Backup and Sync is primarily intended for consumer users. We recommend that our G Suite customers continue to use Drive for Mac/PC until our new enterprise-focused solution, Drive File Stream (currently in EAP), is made generally available to all G Suite Basic, Business, Enterprise, Education, and Nonprofit domains later this year. Drive File Stream will allow users to access huge corporate data sets without taking up the equivalent space on their hard drives.
With that in mind, we will not automatically upgrade G Suite users from Drive for Mac/PC to Backup and Sync at this time. If you currently allow your users to install Drive for Mac/PC on their own computers, they will be able to download and upgrade to Backup and Sync starting on Wednesday, June 28th. If you don’t currently allow Google Drive for Mac/PC in your organization, your users won’t be able to use Backup and Sync with their G Suite accounts.
If you're interested in trying out Drive File Stream, you can sign up for the Early Adopter Program. Otherwise, there's only a fortnight to wait until the arrival of Backup and Sync.