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Google Apps Gmail and legacy MS Exchange (SBS) 2003 Synchronisation

IP4IT Staff
IP4IT Staff asked
We are seriously considering moving from our small MS SBS 2003 Server / MS Office environment ( 5 staff/users/PCs) to Google Apps

1. Any experience with this? Positive and importantly, negitive?

We are concerned about what would happen if internet access / google became unavailable.

We have been using various versions of MS Exchange for the past 12 years. From a comfort/safety point of view, and also because we wanty our historical emails ( our email is our filing system ).

2. Is it possible to use both Google Apps Email Soultion and to also use MS Exchange concurrently, I know this sounds weird. We woudl probable use Google but would find it reasuring to know that the same emails were appearing in MS Exchanges inbox

3. Is it possible to use MS Outlook connected to Gmail so that we get Outlooks features and local speed, or is this silly!

4. Is it possible to migrate all of our historic email over the last 12 years to Google Apps Gmail.

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Distinguished Expert 2018
This is purely subjective and just my opinion, but google apps has no place in businesses yet.

#1. The outages in the last year alone add credibility to your first concern. Useability is also not anywhere near MS Office, or even OpenOffice. "The cloud" is just not yet ready to be the sole source for productivity for a business that relies on it.

#2. Not easily. It'd be a kludgy glue-together.  But it bears the question, why would you want to? What does google apps email give you that exchange doesn't (with OWA configured.)

#3. Yes, it is possible.  Google email supports IMAP, but their "labels" implementation is a different paradigm than "folders" that IMAP was built on, so things can be a bit goofy. But it does work. I personally have outlook connected to several gmail and several exchange accounts at the moment. (note that only outlook 2010 supports multiple exchange accounts, just as an FYI.)

#4. This is one where I'd have to claim ignorance. Never tried. I don't *think* it is possible, but somebody could've hacked together a tool...
Sr IT Support Engineer
I'm simply gonna nod in agreement with cgaliher.  If any of my customers wanted to make this move, I would make the same arguments as above
You have two points of failure when you move to a cloud solution (even MS's).  1 is your ISP and it's reliability.   I've been very lucky with my cable business internet connection.  Extremely rare for me to have an outage, but at least I have local folks to work and I have some control   2  If google apps go down (and that's happened more than my internet connection this year)  I'd be lucky to get ahold of anyone who can actually give me any answers.
About 12 years worth of email.   Find out how big your biggest mail box is and then see if Gmail has mailbox size limits
I think you'd spend hours trying to sync Exchange/Outlook/Gmail