SBS2003 Public Folders to Google Apps

Hi there.
I have migrated a client from a local SBS 2003 setup to Google Apps for email.
It's just a two user setup and one person uses the Public Folders as an archive database.
Email appears to working fine but the Public Folders have been a real problem.

Unfortunately the client has used the Public Folders as his email archive for 5 years so it has about 12 Gb of data in it. The most difficult problem though is that he has many levels of folders, and sub folders, some going down to 10 sub-levels.
Trying to export that to Google Apps, even as it's own profile (once I converted it to a PST), was hopeless. I think Google has a limit of 500 "labels" or folders.

I have a temporary solution in place where he, and only he, still accesses the Public Folders converted to a PST locally. We have problems though when he wants to archive more email (and the folders/sub-folders/sub-sub folders etc.). He used to be able to just drag the whole file structure in one lump from his current exchange mailbox to the Public Folders.
Not any more, if he wants to do that he has to first create the whole file structure, (including sub-folders) in Public Folders, then drag each folders contents, from Google Apps in Outlook 2007, into it's respective Public Folder folder. Pretty time-consuming if you have 10 levels.

Now I know the obvious answer is to update to a later version of the SBS server family, or perhaps go to Microsoft's cloud 365 offering but will they transition the Public Folders effectively or does he really have to move them to another type of archive?
Any recommendations or success stories will be gratefully received.

Thanks
Graham
ghoadeAsked:
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Allen FalconConnect With a Mentor CEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
In outlook, he is dragging to public folders to keep his inbox manageable and to free up PST space.  in Google apps, this is not really necessary given labels and the 30GB of space.
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AlexiosCommented:
Hello
I would suggest the follow
To distribute the current pst file to multiple pst files.
12GB its huge even for outlook to handle it, if the file will increase it will be corrupted, so you have to distribute for sure.

if he wants to do that he has to first create the whole file structure

To eliminate the procudure to create the folder structure, via outlook, choose the option to automatically archive the current pst file (12gb).
With this way it will create from scratch a new pst and will copy all the folder structure (it depends from the archive date option that you will set)
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
You can use cloudmigrator from Cloud Technology Solutions to move the public folders into Google Apps.
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ghoadeAuthor Commented:
Hi Kostasp.
Thanks for the comments.
I'll have to see how the files can be split up sensibly as the file structure he has is quite complicated. He's effectively using it as a database for email, and I agree with you, it is dangerous from a corruption point of view.

Your second point, if I'm reading it correctly, would work for an initial conversion to maintain an existing set of folders. I'm unsure how it will cope with him adding new folders and sub folders in his current profile then wanting to drag them out to his new "Public Folders" PST.
Surely he ends up with the same problem when dragging files & folders from Google Apps to an Outlook PST. Google just drops the messages when you drag them outside of the Google environment, some end up in the Bin/Trash but others just disappear!
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ghoadeAuthor Commented:
Hi Allenfalcon.
Thanks for your note.
I'll have a look at cloudmigrator and see if it turns Microsoft Public Folders into Google compatible data.
My problem comes from adding folder structures from Google Apps to Microsoft Outlook PST's, if it stays in the Google domain I'm hoping it retains the folder structure.
Thanks
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
Folder structure can be maintained for public folders using cloud migrator.

Personal folders will keep their folder structure when migrated as well.
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ghoadeAuthor Commented:
I have had a look at CloudMigrator and it looks powerful and just the job for the initial migration. If I'm reading it correctly it will create another Google Apps profile called "public" for example. I do have a question though.
Does that allow my client to drag complete folder structures from his "Chris" profile into the "public" one.

He's in real estate so once he completes an assignment for a client he drags their folder structure down to his archive in Public Folders from his Inbox. That could happen several times a week so it's an ongoing process not just one conversion of the whole public folder system.

In Outlook it will retain the file structure but Google doesn't. That's the real problem here.
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ghoadeAuthor Commented:
I guess it's pretty clear that his 2003 process is not really keeping up with the times.
I'll attempt to talk him into maintaining everything in the Google Apps folders (labels) which should keep him going for a while.
I'll check out Google Vault too to see fi that covers some of his requirements too.
Thanks for your assistance.
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ghoadeAuthor Commented:
I have extensively Googled this problem and it is clear a lot of people have come up against this, and will do in the future by the look of it.
Email size is getting larger & larger so there must be a solution or product that can handle massive email loads for people who decide to use their email system as a database.
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