Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

Summary: Google is introducing on December 9 a new cloud-email service that it is positioning as an ideal way for Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 users to back up their e-mail.

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Google is introducing on December 9 a new cloud-email service that it is positioning as an ideal way for Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 users to back up their e-mail.

Yes, that's not a typo. Google officials want the new Google Message Continuity service to serve as a back-up and disaster-recovery solution for Microsoft users.

Here's the proposition: Google Message Continuity will replicate Exchange 2003 and 2007 (but not Exchange 2010) customers' mail, calendar and contacts using Google's Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. The two email systems (on-premises Exchange and the business version of Gmail) will be continuously synced using dual delivery. If and when a customer's Exchange Server fails or requires scheduled maintenance, the user would log into Gmail using their Exchange credentials to continue to get their e-mail, meeting requests and the like.

Google is charging new users $25 per user per year for Google Message Continuity, and existing Google Postini customers $13 per user per year.

Why is Google doing this? It's another way to try to win over Microsoft users to Google Apps, as Google's execs acknowledge. If and when the Exchange user decides to move to Google Apps, their e-mail, calendar and contacts will already be synced, easing migration.

I have to admit, when Google's Adam Swidler, Product Marketing Manager for Google's Postini, made his pitch that moving to Google Message Continuity would "bring the reliability of Gmail to Microsoft users" I was not bowled over. I hear and read about more Gmail outages than I do Exchange, Hotmail -- or even BPOS -- outages , I told him. Swidler noted that it isn't the free, consumer version of Gmail that is acting as the backup platform; it is the paid, Google Apps for Business version, which Google says has 99.9 percent SLA-guaranteed availability.

Google officials said Google Message Continuity, the newest member of Google's Postini e-mail services family, is primarily a disaster recovery solution, but it also can be used to provide Exchange users with access on a broader variety of devices. Swidler said Google anticipates the customer sweet spot for the service to be the mid-market, but that enterprise users also could find it a cost-effective way to do e-mail backup. Google plans to sell Google Message Continuity directly and through its reseller partners.

I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard Microsoft pitch the Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online as a way to back up Exchange on-premises. There are a lot of Exchange back-up solutions on the market from a variety of Microsoft partners, including some who are positioning Exchange Hosted Services as a back-up solution for Exchange. For mid-size and larger business users, Microsoft instead has been pitching its own System Center Data Protection Manager offering as a way to back up on-premises Exchange.

Anyone out there interested in giving Google Message Continuity a try?

Update: I asked Microsoft for comment on Google's Exchange back-up announcement. From a company spokesperson:

“Businesses rely on Exchange more than any other messaging solution because of its enterprise grade management and security.  An incredible 73% of large organizations in the US use Exchange as their primary email system with the next closest email platform at 2%. Our customers have and will continue to benefit from the large ecosystem of hundreds of third party solutions that extend and complement Exchange.  With their announcement, Google joins an existing list of email continuity providers for Exchange.”

Topics: Collaboration, Browser, Cloud, Data Management, Google, Servers, Storage

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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25 comments
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  • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

    Google is creating a strong death trap for MS.
    sandeep.splash
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @sandeeppolisetty@...

      You're assuming Google and Microsoft are on even ground. They're not. Exchange is better than Google Mail. This would be a nice failover, but just like logging into the webmail for the MXLogic failover it's unlikely anyone will prefer the GMail interface.

      I am curious why no Exchange 2010. 2007 and 2010 are very similar so I don't understand why they would do one and not the other.
      LiquidLearner
      • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

        @LiquidLearner

        personally i prefer the gmail interface for general email use, but for heavy business usage, the 'search instead of sort' that google pushes just doesn't always work... the most obvious example i can think of is email size. how many *years* has gmail been up and running and we still have no good way for sorting emails by size! this comes into play for me as i have 4 gmail accounts that are at their size limits because i can't get all emails >20 MB and download them to local archives... the closest i've been able to find is Outlook -->imap connection to gmail --> subscribe to "all mail" folder --> sync entire folder --> use outlook to sort by size

        do you know how long it takes to sync a nearly 8 gig mail imap mail store?

        much much faster to open a new account and start filling it.
        erik.soderquist
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @sandeeppolisetty@... Don't think so...not yet. They are no where near on par with MS...maybe one day.
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • We backup Exchange to Microsoft BPOS Cloud service

      Works great!! Each user has their Exchange environment in the cloud. Even the passwords are in sync. End user training is minimal because Outlook works as it did with Exchange. The Google approach seems behind Microsoft on this.
      Leo.Collins
      • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

        They're just trying to swoop in before Microsoft moves everyone to the cloud with the platform they are already use to.
        jessiethe3rd
      • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

        @Leo.Collins - Can you share the costs? Or, if not, whether it's more/less/equiv to the Google $25/user/year?
        daboochmeister
  • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

    Exchange is for dinosaurs.
    BIGELLOW
    • Then I guess...

      we're still in the triassic period. I know of very few small to midsized companies that aren't using it. All my customers are in either manufacturing or service industries, and of the more than 200 customers I've worked for in the last 10 years all but one is using Exchange. Very few of them love it, but they all use it.
      jasonp@...
    • At least Exchange can sort

      Isn't it funny that Google wants people to give up their OutLook for sort-less GMail?
      LBiege
  • great solution

    you can now save lots of money on disk storage while keeping your emails safe with google.
    This is not some fly by night startup that's digging your data for secrets or targeted ads!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @Linux Geek Ouch!
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @Linux Geek

      Google is exactly the company whose entire business depends upon "diging your data for secrets or targeted ads!"

      Just open any email in gmail and check the ads on the right panel...
      DontBeEvil
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @Linux Geek What is the benefit of using a 3rd party solution for backup when EHS provides with better continuity?
      jessiethe3rd
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @Linux Geek
      Keep them safe how? Google has already been caught going on personal property to show picture of their "street view" and had Google engineer caught snooping thru teenage email accounts on gmail and on gtalk. Search on David Barksdale. so yeah, google isnt keeping your stuff safe at all, considering their own employees are being caught snooping through everything.
      tiderulz
  • Cause Backing up Exchange is a NIGHTMARE

    A huge Database is not the way to store e-mail. Not at all. Yet MS made this "choice" for Exchange. Makes restoring a PITA and really hard to spread your e-mail out. Also makes growth an issue.

    It's one of the many ways Exchange is a pile of $hit. Plain and simple. Yet many are so WOWed by MS's Dog and Pony shows that they buy it. Then again, bottom of the barrel sells real well (look at Wal-Mart).
    itguy08
    • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

      @itguy08 Thank you for continuing to prove everyone right about you. At least your consistent
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • Why haven't you outsourced your IT to Google then?

      @itguy08 ...and stop complaining! The great thing if you did that, you wouldn't have a job anymore and wouldn't have a reason to comment here.
      Mr. Dee
    • Thank you once again for proving to everyone here

      that you're [i][b]way[/b][/i] out of your element here itguy08

      Here's a link more to your speed: http://www.sesamestreet.org
      John Zern
  • RE: Meet the newest Exchange Server backup provider: Google

    That's a good idea. If they ever get their apps to have the same functionality or enough they would be positioned quite well. At this time they are a ways off, but I'm sure improving that - or should be - with each day.
    ItsTheBottomLine