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Google unveils Exchange-compatible email backup

Google has introduced an email continuity package for organisations running on-premises email systems, promising to provide cloud-based synchronous back-up.The service, Google Message Continuity, was announced by Google Apps group product manager Rajen Sheth in a company blog post on Thursday.

Google has introduced an email continuity package for organisations running on-premises email systems, promising to provide cloud-based synchronous back-up.

The service, Google Message Continuity, was announced by Google Apps group product manager Rajen Sheth in a company blog post on Thursday. Message Continuity, which stems from the company's Postini acquisition in 2007, will work with systems such as Microsoft Exchange, replicating accounts in the cloud using Gmail, Calendar and Contacts.

"If the Microsoft Exchange Server fails, or requires scheduled maintenance or downtime, all you have to do is log into Gmail and continue regular, up-to-date email communication through Google," Sheth wrote. "Since Gmail and Microsoft Exchange are constantly synchronized with each other, you can seamlessly switch from one email environment to the other."

Sheth suggested that Message Continuity could also help organisation switch from on-premises systems to Google Apps. "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," he noted. "With Gmail, Calendar and Contacts available, users can get familiar with these cloud services without having to abruptly stop using their regular email system."

In September, Google said its Apps suite, a major rival to Microsoft's products, was used by three million organisations. In November, the company also began opening up 60 mostly consumer-oriented applications for use by Google Apps business customers.