Google is introducing a new service called Google Message Continuity that syncs on-premise message platforms such as Microsoft Exchange with Gmail. There are a couple distinct advantages for cloud-based messaging platforms like Gmail, including availability and reliability, and Google Message Continuity enables organizations to get the best of both worlds.
Google Message Continuity replicates local e-mail accounts hosted on Microsoft Exchange Servers to the cloud--syncing the data with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts. In the event that the Microsoft Exchange Server fails, or is unavailable for any reason, users can log into Gmail and continue business as usual.
A post on the Official Google Blog explains, "Organizations running on-premise e-mail systems, such as Microsoft Exchange, can run the risk of losing e-mail access--or even worse, their e-mail data--during a server outage, which can impact employee productivity, revenue and even company credibility. Research suggests that a 500-person company could lose nearly 90k annually due to e-mail outages, so a continuity solution makes sense to prevent that."
The Microsoft Exchange data is constantly synced by Google Message Continuity, so there is no loss of data or interruption of service. The solution also takes advantages of the synchronous replication and resilient architecture of Google's cloud services. That means that data is backed up almost instantly to servers scattered around the globe--providing more efficient access to information , and ensuring access and availability even if one or more servers goes down.
The Google Enterprise Blog clarifies, "By synchronizing your on-premises accounts with Google's cloud, Google Message Continuity gives users access to their up-to-date e-mail inboxes (through the Gmail interface) no matter what happens to your on-premises servers. And once your servers come back up, messages sent and received, plus message state changes (like deletions and folder assignments) that are recorded by Google Message Continuity during your Microsoft Exchange outage are synchronized with your servers, allowing users to seamlessly transition from Microsoft Exchange to Gmail, then back to Microsoft Exchange."
Many organizations--including many government agencies--see potential cost, efficiency, and performance benefits from cloud-based messaging and collaboration platforms. However, many also see advantages in maintaining messaging systems locally. Google Message Continuity enables organizations to straddle the line between on-premise and cloud-based communications, and provides an affordable backup and business continuity solution to ensure uninterrupted availability of the messaging system.
The Google Message Continuity service will be $25 per user per year for new customers, or only $13 per user per year for existing Postini customers. You can tune in on December 15 at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific for a live webinar to learn more about the service.