Google Apps for domains

Gabriel Gunderson gabe at
Mon Mar 19 22:55:18 MDT 2007

On Mon, 2007-03-19 at 19:48 -0600, Michael Torrie wrote:
> Has anyone on this list tried out Google Apps for domains?  The basic
> level of service is free (ad-revenues for google) and has a lot of
> advantages over running my own server.  I'm thinking seriously about
> using them with my domain.  Mainly because I don't want to give out
> e-mail accounts to family and then have the burden of maintaining a
> server for years to come.  Google Apps gives me the freedom to ditch my
> server entirely if I wanted to.  It also gives nice features like jabber
> IMing with using my domain, document sharing, etc.  

Yes, I've tried it, for all the reasons you mention.  However, I'm yet
to move *my* personal domain to it.  As I'm sure you know, you can use
one part of the service without using the other (mail, chat, web, etc.).

> Here's my dilemma.  I don't want to give up the ability to run my own
> mail server.  Google's system is nice, but I'd like to use it in
> addition to my current server. That way my family members can just use
> google and it's web client while I use my own server with imap.  I
> thought of several ways to do this. 

I'm sure you don't want to pay the $$$, but if you did, it's good to
know that they have an API for that.

> First I could have Google pick up everything with the MX record
> (recommended by Google).  Then I could run fetchmail on my server to
> bring down mail for imap users through the pop gateway.  
> Or I could set my server as the primary MX, and then have postfix bounce
> all mail through to google's servers for users I don't want to host on
> my server.  I could even set Google's servers as alternates in the MX
> record in case of outages, and then also run the fetchmail to bring in
> mail I missed.

At first I wondered if they would activate it if they saw a higher (or
lower - depending on how you look at it :) ranking MX server, but the
info here makes it sound pretty flexible.

> The second option is complicated, but should work.  The main reason to
> have mail hit my server first is to allow for greylisting, which I've
> found to be extremely effective at reducing spam by an order of
> magnitude.  By fetching my mail through pop from google's servers, I
> loose that tool.  I still have spamassassin and dspam, and also google's
> own spam filters, which may be enough.  

I can understand wanting total control over your email.  It's why I
haven't moved mine over *yet*.  However, SPAM is getting harder and
harder to fight.  It becomes less and less fun to run your own server as
a hobby.  Google's SPAM fighting is pretty darn good and hassle free.
The other nice thing is not having to worry about other mail servers
marking my mail as SPAM because my server is on a "residential" IP.  If
ISPs or mail providers start labeling my mail as junk mail, the Google
sysadmins get to loose sleep over it, not me.

> Any thoughts or recommendations?  Has anyone used google apps?

Everyone I've moved to apps for domains loves it.

2 cents,

> Michael

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