Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

Summary: It took a week, but Microsoft execs have come out swinging against Google's plan for providing e-mail back-up for Exchange.

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It took a week, but Microsoft execs have come out swinging against Google's plan for providing e-mail back-up for Exchange.

Google announced its $25 per user/per year Google Message Continuity service on December 9. When I asked Microsoft execs for their initial take on Google's plan to back-up Exchange with Gmail, I got a fairly bland statement from a spokesperson. ("With their announcement, Google joins an existing list of email continuity providers for Exchange.")

On December 16, however, Microsoft went on the offensive against Google with a couple of strongly-worded blog posts. One claimed that Google Message Continuity is cumbersome and costly. In the event there's an Exchange outage, "Exchange will automatically failover if the customer has HA (high availability) setup for Exchange, which most customers do," said Tom Rizzo, a Senior Director for Microsoft Online services.

Microsoft execs noted that Exchange 2010 has high-availability back-up built into the product, and that various third-party partners offer back-up services for older versions of Exchange. (It's worth noting that Google's new backup offering backs up Exchange 2003 and 2007, not Exchange 2010.)

"Vendors like (Microsoft partners) Live Office and Dell have provided Exchange services for many years and have dedicated Microsoft Certified Exchange Professionals driving and implementing their solutions. This level of knowledge and support of Exchange should be required of any vendor being considered," blogged Julia White, Senior Director, Exchange Product Management.

I'm not surprised Microsoft is none too keen on Google's attempt to gain a toehold in targeting Redmond's established business customer base with its new enterprise backup service. But I'm still wondering if and when Microsoft will start really pushing Exchange Online, its own hosted e-mail solution, as a back-up solution for users running older Exchange servers. So far, that's not a main marketing message from the Softies....

Topics: Collaboration, Google, Microsoft

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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22 comments
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  • Exchange has 0 reliability built in

    No failover clustering automatically. Stores all your e-mail in a huge database which makes backup/restore a pain. Ties you to MS platforms....

    Smart companies do not run any version of Exchange.
    itguy08
    • that right!!

      sure many millions disagree with you but the fact that you keep saying the same thind all the time tells me you know alot more then all those millions combined!!

      i cant belive there are millions of dumb companys out there running exchange - they should just take your word for it and be better off!!
      Ron Bergundy
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @itguy08

      No failover clustering automatically? Database a huge pain to back up and restore? I highly doubt you have even used exchange. Just because you believe it in your simple little mind does not make it true. I cannot think of one thing you have slammed Microsoft for that is even remotely factual. Didn't you mother ever tell you not to lie? Now go stand in the corner.
      bobiroc
      • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

        @bobiroc No he has, back in 2001 when 5.5 had some of these issues.
        slickjim
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @itguy08 What are you using 5.5? Exchange has the ability to restore or backup individual or multiple mail boxes... As for failing over, it works okay where I work so I am not sure what you are doing to our servers but maybe yoir company should find a new Itguy.
      slickjim
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @itguy08 What are you using 5.5? Exchange has the ability to restore or backup individual or multiple mail boxes... As for failing over, it works okay where I work so I am not sure what you are doing to your servers but maybe your company should find a new Itguy.
      slickjim
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @itguy08 What planet are you from? What would an IT Guy like yourself recommend otherwise? Really, we need your input?
      apetti
  • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

    How is this a strike back? If you want to backup your exchange server you have to use a 3rd party application, when was the last time a microsoft backup product worked?
    jdeliz@...
    • Exchange 2007 SP2

      @jdeliz@...

      and anything newer will work with the built in Windows Backup.

      And besides this little tiff has absolutely nothing to do with backup, its about high availability and that too is baked into Exchange.
      JoeMama_z
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @jdeliz@...
      No it doesn't feel like a strike back especially as Google are going after 2003 and 2007 customers only - basically those with older systems that are more likely to fail, run by companies who are hesitant to upgrade and may well like the idea of a cheaper system!
      @...
  • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

    Personally, I'd like my backup provider to have both an SLA and a customer support phone line to call; if Google doesn't have both it's only fair to Microsoft's other partners for Redmond to remind customers about the various issues they may want to consider. Also, the Android Exchange mail client has had some nasty bugs recently (I had to install a third-party mail client on my Milestone because I can't get 2.2 and the bug fixes); Exchange backup is about more than storage and I wonder if a company like Mimecast that builds its business on working with Exchange might not do a better job that Google to whom this isn't a core business...
    mary.branscombe
    • Go Mimecast!

      @mary.branscombe

      One of my last projects before leaving my previous employer six months ago was implementing Mimecast and they're very, very good. Friends I still have there are very happy with them.
      OffsideInVancouver
  • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

    Why does Google get any respect? They have one of the worst corporate cultures and reputations regarding privacy and security. Seriously, why do people love this company so much? I love how they are fighting privacy suites indecently! CT AG is on their case now!!!! Boo to Google!!! Don't trust them with my emails.
    apetti
  • Well, it is not too surprising that Microsoft does not like Google filling

    in holes in their products. But, Google is doing MS customers a big favor, giving them a great (and low cost) backup solution.
    DonnieBoy
    • half agreed

      @DonnieBoy

      You know me, and that I trust Google about as far as I can throw them, but I think the good they're doing here is indirect - they're raising sea level for everyone by forcing the incumbents - including Microsoft - to step up their game. Some will likely find their needs met with Google's offering, others will still rely on third party software and services. Regardless, it's likely that the next wave of releases will be significantly better across the board because Google's made a compelling service that undercuts...basically everyone.

      Joey
      voyager529
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @DonnieBoy

      Ummm, huh? I know you probably know 0 about how Exchange works so I'd like to be enlightened by what holes this fills in their product line. Exchange supports HA, supports clustering, supports multiple servers, mailbox replication, failover, etc, etc, etc... In fact it does so in a much more robust way. How much experience do you have with users? I can tell you from experience that a failover system that requires users to know an alternate place to go get their e-mail will not be a success with end users.

      This does nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that hasn't been available since at least Exchange 2007 and even Exchange 2003 Enterprise was capable of it. There are also many other continuity providers out there that have been doing this for 10+ years with people who know Exchange inside and out supporting those products. Why would you go to Google, who is doing this as nothing more to get a foot in the door, so to speak.

      Also with Office 365 you'll be able to run coexistence with Exchange 2010 and their online service, so if your server goes down your users won't even know that something changed. And that's only $24/year per mailbox.
      LiquidLearner
    • DonnieBoy, if you actually put in the time into

      understanding products like Exchange and Windows Servers that you do into playing "blind cheerleader" for Google, you may understand that the "Google solutions" you so proudly proclaim as "filling the holes" are in fact, a Dunsel.

      They exist for no other purpose then to attempt to lure people away from working, reliable, solutions to a many time, lesser offering of Google's.
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Microsoft strikes back at Google on e-mail back-up plan

      @DonnieBoy

      Oh, you mean like a managed solution from BPOS that can scale to any enterprise?

      Put your paper hat on and get back to the fry machine, your break is over!
      omdguy
  • Cheap way to split your bets

    Obviously, Google is providing a cheap way to enable a transition to GMail for businesses. If you're considering a backup provider, why not consider one that also gives you a built-in low (no?) cost transition plan to move to GMail as your cloud email provider, as opposed to the other 3rd-party options?

    Makes business sense for some subset of companies, I would think.
    daboochmeister
    • Support

      @daboochmeister

      I have never seen a phone number to call when you have a problem. This is a case of you get what you pay for. People would go to other people because they focus on and know Exchange and have support available when there is a problem.

      I've migrated three Exchange server to Gmail, all three switched to Exchange Online or BPOS over the course of the last year. Gmail didn't do what they wanted or needed, and their IMAP support for Outlook sucks.
      LiquidLearner