Google Dec. 9 introduced Google Message Continuity, a storage solution geared to preserve the integrity of e-mail, calendar and contact data of Microsoft Exchange in case it goes down.
Google's Postini group Dec. 9 rolled out
Continuity, the latest in a string of software solutions to help
Microsoft's on-premise e-mail users to get more comfortable with the
Google Apps cloud.
Google Message Continuity preserves the
state of corporate e-mail created in Microsoft Exchange, the e-mail server
software used by most businesses today.
The application duplicates e-mail accounts living on
Microsoft Exchange servers in the cloud, using Google's Gmail, Calendar and
contacts from Google Apps. Message Continuity constantly syncs Gmail and Exchange,
allowing users to switch from one e-mail environment to the other.
The idea, said Adam Swidler, product marketing manager
for Google's Postini group, is that if Exchange fails or needs to be
for maintenance, users can log into Gmail with the same user ID they
use to log into Exchange to access e-mail, calendar and contact data.
Once the outage is resolved, messages received by Gmail
in the interim are synced back to Microsoft Exchange, with message
state changes, such as deletions and folder assignments, carried over from Gmail to Exchange.
"A lot of the on-premise e-mail systems typically go
through a certain amount of downtime, both planned and unplanned, that can
create problems for businesses," Swidler told eWEEK. The problems include
lost data, productivity and possibly sales.
Gmail relies on Google's cloud of servers running in
parallel so it sees little unplanned downtime, he added. The parallel
processing capabilities, accompanied by synchronous replication and redundancy,
help servers step in and pick up the slack for failed servers and storage.
Available for organizations using Exchange 2003 and Exchange
2007, Google Message Continuity will cost $25 per user,
per year for new customers, who will also get Postini's antispam, encryption
and other components.
Existing Postini customers will pay $13 per user, per
year via a software add-on. These prices are in addition to the $50 per user, per
year Google charges for Google Apps Business Edition.
Message Continuity follows two other tools Google has
crafted to make moving from Microsoft Outlook and Exchange to Gmail and Google
Google last month launched
Google Cloud Connect, a free software plug-in that people can use to create
Office documents and save them to Google Docs.
In June 2009, Google rolled out
Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook plug-in, which lets users access their
Google Apps e-mail, contacts and calendars through the familiar Outlook
Google and Microsoft are certainly locked in a collaboration computing struggle.
While Google secured
a contract with the General Services Administration, Microsoft just landed
the United States Department of Agriculture as a customer for its own Web-based e-mail and collaboration software.
Microsoft also won the large Department of Interior deal (88,000 employees) , prompting Google to sue the government
, for allegedly failing to consider alternatives.