Google morphs Gmail into Microsoft backup service
Backup today. Flee Redmond tomorrow
Google has unveiled a service that lets businesses use Gmail as a back-up for Microsoft Exchange.
Known as Google Message Continuity, the service replicates all your Microsoft Exchange data on Google's servers. If your Exchange servers crash or you take them down for maintenance, your employees can open up a browser and switch to Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts. The service is based on technology from Postini, the business email outfit Google purchase in 2007.
"Since Gmail and Microsoft Exchange are constantly synchronized with each other," Google says, "you can seamlessly switch from one email environment to the other." Google uses synchronous replication and redundant data stores in an effort to ensure your data won't ever be lost.
Google also sees this as a tool that will ultimately help businesses make the switch from Exchange to Google Apps, the online suite that includes Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts. "Since Microsoft Exchange and Gmail are always in sync with one another, there’s no need to migrate email data when eventually deploying Google Apps. With Gmail, Calendar and Contacts available, people can get familiar with these cloud services without having to abruptly stop using their regular email system," Google says.
Mountain View is pulling out all the stops as it works to pry users away from Microsoft's businessware. In June of last year, Google rolled out a plug-in that lets you access Gmail from Microsoft Outlook, and this autumn, it introduced a similar tool for uploading Microsoft Office docs to its online word processor, Google Docs. The company is even suing government agencies that allegedly pick Microsoft Office tools without giving Google a fair shake.
Google Message Continuity is $25 per user per year for new customers or an additional $13 per user per year for existing Postini customers. ®
Our corporate email is secured behind multiple layers, not just for filtering, but for ACCESS. Only a percentage of our users can access Exchange from off premises through any means other than VPN, and do so through secure servers and apps on their phone. Webmail is permitted for other users, backed by RSA dual factor authentication. ALL mail activity in and out of the dmioain is monitored and logged.
If we used google, we'd loose RSA, We'd loose cell phone connectivity, we'de loose monitoring and reporting and audit responsibility, and anyone who had an account could send any data they had access to out to unauthorized recipients without our abiltiy to stop it.
We have tools that scan outgoing e-mial for account numbers, SSNs, and many other types of critical data we have to protect. Seriously, all it would take for a hacker to steal our data if we implemented this would be for an insider to get on the network, point at gmail, and click send. We block every web mail system (and in fact most web access completely) to prevent just this scenario, and they suggest we turn this on for continuity (which is EASY with Exchange already?)
It's just a matter of time...
before a rogue Google employee decides your email deserves to be public. And what are you going to do about it then?
And more generally I think it's time everyone stopped being so beholden to the magic of "the Cloud" and recognised it for the unaccountable, insecure and unreliable pipe-dream it really is. Am I being an unfashionable killjoy? Maybe. But don't come complaining later on when your data gets abused.
I would sooner not have email...
I would sooner not have email than put anything through google.
"Google Blames Rogue Software Engineer For Intercepted Data"
And everyone else at google was too lame to notice they had extra data?