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At work we currently use google biz apps. Which as the only IT guy I love and has been pretty much trouble free during my time at this company.

however for several reasons were considering moving to a internally hosted soluton.

the 3 driving factors for this are (in order)

1) some places that our employees work have blocked access to public Gmail and as a consequence our email is blocked as well 2) Privacy / security. we recently had a "incident" where someone would have sent something over email that they shouldn't have. If that had happened we may have been required to "quarantine" our email server which we obviously could not do with google biz apps. 3) lastly as always price. I'm disappointed with Google for not having tiered pricing (50 bucks a person/year for 1 user or 1000 users).

I'm almost 100% sure that Google doesn't offer it but if they had a network appliance that would offer all the same functionality but was physically in our office I would buy it in a second

I have looked at services like zimbra and other but they don't offer any hardware and I'm reluctant to buy a bunch of hardware for a service im not sure I like yet.

If anyone has any ideas one what a good trouble free solution for hosting our own mail is I would love to hear it.

Thanks

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As for the first point - you could probably set up custom DNS records that point to Google Mail, so you could access it via mail.your_domain.com and it wouldn't be blocked. I have no idea for point 2, but I would assume that Google have some sort of monitoring tools that administrators could use - seems rather bad if they don't.

Anyway, What to do really depends on your budget, users and requirements.

If you just want to use Windows, I recommend Hmailserver for a small environment - and it works on pretty much any desktop Windows operating system. If this is a large environment, you may want to look at using Microsoft Exchange. It is overkill (and expensive) for small environments, but once installed and configured - it "just works", and works very well.

Alternatively, for the Linux route, there are many options. I would recommend either going for an easy to use distribution such as SMEserver, or try your own by downloading your favourite distribution then a mail server. Personally, I am a fan of using Ubuntu with Webmin so I can manage everything from an easy to use interface.

Hope this helps!

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Regarding the second point. Take a good look at the Postini services in Google Apps (I am assuming you are using premier). You should be able to set up any rules you may need to prevent a user from sending potentially harmful mail prior to having an issue.

The Blocked internet access sounds more to be a political / hr issue than an technical. There are always ways to get around that.

A lot of this probably revolves around pricing, you get what you pay for. In my opinion the advantages to using Google Apps (when leveraged effectively) can far outweigh the costs associated.

If your looking for ways to make more out of your Google Apps platform start by educating and encouraging shared usage of docs. Learn more about Google Apps Script. Check out the marketplace for additional tools / resources that are focused at your industry.

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+1 for comment on Postini. –  TFM Aug 4 '10 at 19:23

If they can still access google, have them sign in with their google account number and then go to https://mail.google.com - the traffic is routed through SSL to google.com.

Also, you may want to just shoot Google an email and see if they do have a hardware solution - I know they do have hardware solutions for some things (like search).

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