Thursday, April 26, 2012

Using Google Drive instead of file servers

Google have just announced the release of Google Drive, which allows for easy synchronization of local hard drive data with Google docs. This is very significant for me because it deals with a requirement that I often get asked about, namely having an easy cloud store for data on your hard drive.

It has always been possible to manually upload folders and files to Google docs, but Google Drive does this automatically in the background, meaning you never have to think about it. This also makes sharing the data if you want to very easy. Clearly, this is a major challenge to Dropbox which has been the dominant provider of these types of services.

The first 5GB per user is free which for Google Apps domain administrators represents extremely cheap online storage. This is ample, particularly if users are creating, storing and sharing documents as Google Docs (which are not subject to any quota).

For a number of years Google have challenged the idea that businesses require email servers, with business email being the core element of Google Apps for Business. With the addition of Google Drive, there is now an alternative for onsite file servers too.

If you'd like to discuss the use of Google Drive in a business environment or any other Google Apps, please contact me on 0843 289 0462 or visit www.thirdwayit.co.uk to learn more.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What is Google Vault?

Google have just announced the release of Google Vault, their new 'e-discovery' product. The two obvious questions are 'What does it do?' and 'What is it competing with'?

The answer to the first question is that Google Vault allows domain administrators to retain and search all incoming and outgoing emails from a Google Apps for Business domain. This is often required by businesses that decide to retain this information for legal purposes (in the event of a legal dispute this information can be requested).

Up until now, this job has been served by the use of  'Google Message Discovery' by Postini, but the benefit of Vault is that it is part of the Google Apps domain rather than a separate product. That's going to make it much easier to configure and use, always a good thing. 

At this stage, Vault will only be available to Google Apps for Business customers, and not users of the education edition for which GMD will remain the recommended product.

The cost of Google Vault is expected to be equivalent to that of Google Apps itself (£3.30 / user / month) and as a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, I'm looking forward to this being part of the product offering.  If you'd like to discuss the use of Google Vault with your Apps domain, please feel free to get get in touch.