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Syncing Google Apps large mailboxes with Outlook

Posted on 2011-09-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've read many posts/articles comparing Google Apps to Outlook, Exchange, Hosted Exchange, etc.

My only real concern/question is how does Outlook work with Google when you have a large mailbox (2-4 GB) or a "huge" mailbox (5-15 GB).

That's my biggest issue/problem right now with a few clients. They all love that Google advertises a 25 GB limit, but i know Outlook just doesn't do well with that much data. With exchange we're looking at massive OST files. Using the Google sync add-in, does outlook also make an OST or similar file? Does it have just as many problems as Exchange with a mailbox that large?

Of course I know if you avoid Outlook and stick to just the Gmail web interface you're fine, but most end users want to keep Outlook.

Thanks.
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Question by:tabush
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JimBeveridge earned 125 total points
ID: 36630159
I think you need to quantify "Outlook doesn't do well." I use Outlook with 8GB OST files and it works a treat. But I'm on a desktop with a Core i7, SSD and 8GB of RAM.

On the other hand, my older T42 laptop with 1.5GB of RAM and a 1.7GHz processor struggles with a 2GB OST file.

On Exchange 2010, a 20GB mailbox is no big deal. With older versions of Exchange it is a little more dicey.

I tell my customers that they can spend their money on a system that's tested end-to-end to work (Outlook/Exchange), or they can try and "save" money by using a product written by a company that hates Microsoft, hates Windows, and has almost no track record whatsoever for producing client-side software that's reliable and backed by serious technical support. Particularly with the price point of Office 365, I can't imagine why anyone would want to go with Gmail+Outlook for a corporate environment.

(My company does not sell Exchange or Google Apps, but our product is used by many customers who have one or the other.)
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Expert Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 36707944
Can you quantify why the client does not want to lose Outlook? As Users and Professionals we have been programmed to think that Outlook = Email. How can we possibly access email without Outlook?

Change of a Users mindset is one of the hardest hills to climb and successfully master. That is assuming that Google Apps technically can meet all requirements - sounds like a good time to draw up a matrix and do some comparisons.
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by:Allen Falcon
Allen Falcon earned 375 total points
ID: 36708678
The Google App Sync for MS Outlook (GASMO) let's you decide how much info to cache on the local disk.  You can select from 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or unlimited.  

Syncing 4GB or unlimited will impact performance in outlook as GASMO will be syncing not only the inbox, but all personal folders.

Since searching in outlook is poor anyway, we recommend a 1 or 2 GB cache.  You can add an icon to the outlook nav that takes the user to the Gmail interface to dearth older mail.   Google is pretty good at search, so this works well in most cases.

Have you done a trial?
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Author Comment

by:tabush
ID: 36710432
Flipp - gmail interface just doesn't cut it. the users know and like outlook, and some handle 500+ emails a day and still need Outlook's features.

Allenfalcon - so you're saying i can limit sync to 2GB even though the user has 15 GB worth of emails? and the other 13 GB will still be accessible through outlook (the user wouldn't notice what's synced and what's not, as long as they're online)? how does google decide what gets synced and what's not?

Again, the issue here is that we're dealing with users who may receive 200+ emails a day, many with attachments of 1mb or more, and don't want to delete anything. i can't fight the way they work, how many attachments are sent, or how many people are CC'd.... it is what it is.
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by:Allen Falcon
Allen Falcon earned 375 total points
ID: 36710966
@tabush -- If you set the sync cash at 2GB, Google will sync to 2GB of most recent emails.  The remainder would be accessible via the Gmail interface.  You can add a shortcut to open a browser to the inbox in outlook nav.

Also, don't sell your users short.  Find out how many user Gmail at home.  Demonstrate how much better search is in Gmail than Outlook.  You might be surprise at how many want to, or are willing to, make the switch.

Allen
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Author Comment

by:tabush
ID: 36711171
Allen - have you tried syncing 10+ GB to see how it works?
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Assisted Solution

by:Allen Falcon
Allen Falcon earned 375 total points
ID: 36711390
@tabush.  Yes.  It is slow.  Outlook is not designed for large data synchronization.  

I would set the threshold for 2GB and up it to 4GB for users that really need it.  I would also offer users training and help moving to the web interface.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tabush
ID: 36976163
thanks for all the help - i can see that google apps is definitely not an exact replacement for exchange/outlook... there are benefits (mainly the cost), but it's a big change for any company. thanks.
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