Google has turned its Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts into a backup system for your Microsoft Exchange data. Called Google Message Continuity, the service is meant not just to back up, but to sync in real-time your Exchange data on Google’s servers. The service is based on technology from Postini, which Google acquired in 2007.
Here’s how Google Message Continuity is described:
Google Message Continuity is a cloud-based email continuity solution—a service that helps ensure that you always have access to your email. Organizations running on-premises email systems, such as Microsoft® Exchange, can run the risk of losing email access—or even worse, their email 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 $90,000 annually due to email outages*, which a continuity solution could help prevent.
Google Message Continuity works by replicating email accounts hosted on Microsoft® Exchange Servers in the cloud, using Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. If the Microsoft® Exchange Server fails, or requires scheduled maintenance or downtime, all you have to do is log into Gmail and continue regular, up-to-date email communication through Google. Since Gmail and Microsoft® Exchange are constantly synchronized with each other, you can seamlessly switch from one email environment to the other. Additionally, features such as synchronous replication that are built into Google’s architecture help ensure that your data won’t be lost at any point while being delivered to you with maximum efficiency.
Google also mentions, unsurprisingly, that Google Message Continuity can help organizations transition to Google Apps. Even if that isn’t a company’s goal, if a Microsoft Exchange server goes down, Google Message Continuity users can simply log into Gmail and keep on working.
In the case of a catastrophic crash, this could keep a company’s productivity high enough to continue avoiding hiring anyone. Once the server is restored, Google Message Continuity would sync changes back down to the Exchange server.
Who knows, Google Messaging Continuity (GMC?) users might even enjoy using Gmail, as many Google Apps and Gmail users already do. Google Message Continuity will cost $25 per user per year for new customers or an additional $13 per user per year for existing Postini customers.