Google's Postini Services is a hosted continuity solution for your on-premise email server. Google promises to ensure rapid email failover in the event of a server outage with complete and constant email replication; through Gmail. GMC is another option for the increased mobility and accessibility of critical data.
Google seems to have launced an all out attack on Microsoft's hitherto personal niche, of enterprise-hosted email services, following the increasingly successful adoption of Gmail; as the email client of choice. With a claim of ten-fold reliability over in-house hosted Microsoft exchange systems, coupled with low cost-per-head and industry leading security architecture, 'Google Message Continuity' (GMC) is a concrete step in the right direction and should soon become the ultimate M$ Exchange migration tool.
The service currently offers the following features;
- Maximize email availability: GMC offers continuous and automatic synchronization with Gmail which means that if your on-premise server is down, you can still send and receive up-to-date emails, schedule meetings through Calendar, and stay in touch with all of your contacts.
- Back up your data: With 25 GB of storage for each Gmail account, there's no limit on how long your data is backed-up. If your server experiences an outage, your data remains protected and accessible in the cloud. Add-on resources can be pre-arranged by integrating with Google Apps Premier Edition.
- Make your email more secure: GMC includes all the security features of Google Message Security, including anti-spam and anti-virus filters, content policies, and encryption. The default 'https' access is an added bonus.
- Rapid deployment, easy maintenance: GMC doesn't require any hardware installation and is managed through a simple web interface. Services are SAS 70 Type II audited and monitored by Google around the clock.
This is another example of Google's reach and dexterity; the new Microsoft. The service however offers enterprises the option to have a backup email access set-up covering the company's internal email set-up.
Why bother with internal email hosting?
If Google can offer all this for a fraction (a quarter) of the cost and headache of internally hosted systems, one may be tempted to consider out-souring all the company mail; and many companies are doing just.
As required by law, customer critical data (credit card information, social security data ...) can not be hosted in the cloud / off-site with getting into a heap of trouble. This option should be viewed as an additional means of backup for medium to large enterprises. Don't be tempted to place all your eggs in one basket; regardless of the basket's bells-and-whistles.
All other parties are however urged to seriously consider this option, as a primary means of backup or as a stepping stone into migration to the Google Messaging Cloud.