Exchange Server to Google Apps

I moved my email server from Microsoft Exchange Server to Google Apps about two weeks ago.

The advantages

  • I no longer have to worry about backing up my email server.
  • I can access my email through a browser without any special setup, firewall configuration or security worries.
  • I don't need to run an Exchange Server which was killing my server, adding a second server for a small company seemed a bit overkill.
  • I can get an IMAP server (or POP3) so can still use Outlook if I want to.
  • It's free! I have a Windows 2003 Small Business Server so that's not a big problem for me but it's definitely worth considering if you don't have the licenses.
  • Search is quicker, through the web interface.

The disadvantages

  • I no longer have full control over my email, if Google pack up shop, how do I get it all back?
  • I have to trust Google to not read any sensitive information.
  • I don't have as much potential storage, although 4GB of mail is a lot of mail!
  • If I want shared calendars I have to use the web interface, which I don't like as much as Outlook.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the change. It's made my server a lot quicker now I can stop exchange server and speed up my acceptance/test sites, and my backups are smaller. The only thing that is really annoying is that some of my old email is trapped in exchange, I've got a local copy in Outlook but that's not an ideal solution. If you're shopping for a mail server I'd definitely consider it before rushing out and buying Exchange if you've only got a few users. There is a version of Google Apps which you can pay for but I haven't taken that version for a spin.

About the Author

Steve Temple, Technical Director and co-founder of Gibe

Steve is Gibe's technical director and super brain behind the development of our major projects. With over 27 years of commercial experience, Steve is an expert in .NET, Umbraco and Microsoft technologies. Steve is also an Umbraco Certified Master and Microsoft MCSD