Photo: Flickr, quinn.anya
A new service from Postini, the email services company that Google acquired in 2007, will let companies back up their Microsoft Exchange email servers with Gmail.The service goes by the unglamorous name of Google Email Continuity, and it sits between a company’s on-premises Exchange server and the public Internet. All emails coming into the service will be routed simultaneously to Exchange–as normal–and to Google’s Gmail service. If Exchange crashes, users will be automatically switched over to Gmail, where all their email and calendar information will be waiting for them. Internal emails are synced to Gmail through an Exchange plug-in.
The service also allows users to access their Exchange email via Gmail from any device. Users can already do that with Outlook Web Access, but if they prefer the Gmail interface, this service will let them use it..
Microsoft used to offer a similar continuity service, Exchange Hosted Continuity, but folded it into the broader Exchange Hosted Archiving service earlier this year. That service costs $54 per user per year, versus $25 for the Gmail equivalent (or $13 for companies that already use other Postini services for antispam and encryption). In fact, the entire Google Apps suite for businesses costs only $50 per user per year.
In addition to offering a cost advantage over Microsoft’s own offering, this is a useful sales tool Google’s pitch to get customers to swap out Exchange servers for the Gmail. If customers aren’t sure they want to go completely into Google’s cloud, they can check out Google Email Continuity for a while. The more Exchange crashes, the more they’ll get used to using Gmail in its place.
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