Sunday, 16 September 2012

Managing Google Apps for Business User Licenses

Google Apps for Business requires a license for each mailbox created. This does not matter if the mailbox is active or inactive. For example, if an employee leaves and you make the mailbox inactive, this still requires a license. If you then have a replacement employee join you have a couple of choices:

  1. buy an additional mailbox license for the new employ and retain the old employee's mailbox
  2. delete the old employee's mailbox to free up a license and then add the new employee
  3. rename the mailbox and continue to use it for the new employee
As time passes it may not be economical to continue to pay for a mailbox for each ex-employee simply to retain their emails.

Of course with Google Apps for Business it is a little more than just email. There is calendar items and documents to also consider.

For document ownership the Google Apps administrator can use a system feature that will reassign document ownership from one user to another. This would be important to carry out this step.

For email retention a great solution is called Snapshot from Backupify. This allows an administrator to take a complete snapshot of the user's email and download it as a zip file. This can be used even with active users if required. If used for ex-employees the mailbox can then be deleted once the zip file is downloaded.

"Snapshot for Google Apps extracts the content from a single Google Apps account, converts the data into useful file formats, compresses it all into an easy-to-extract ZIP file, and downloads it to your local machine"

If the domain has Google Message Security and Archiving services enabled, either via Postini or Google Vault, then it may not be necessary to use Snapshot as all emails will be in the archive vault, however this is only email. 

Cloud Solutions provides Google Apps consultancy services in Asia.

Monday, 10 September 2012

NETGear ReadyNAS Pro Offers Excellent Storage Options

NETGear's ReadyNAS Pro is a fast networked storage device designed for the SMB market. The ReadyNAS Pro comes in three models providing either 2, 4 or 6 disk bays. Hard drives do not ship with the device so this allows a company to install 1T or 2T disks to meet their storage requirements.

Chinese menus as well as folder and file names are all supported. 

With the smart X-RAID2 disk management system, simply plug in the disks and the device will configure itself and expand the volume on the fly when additional or larger disks are added.With two drives, the X-RAID2 creates a mirror array. With three drives, your capacity doubles; with four, it triples.

If you are a MAC user, Time Machine is supported along with backup jobs for Windows PCs or servers.

Support for streaming of any multimedia files stored to any Smart device that can accept them. The onboard DLNA 1.5 media server delivers multiple full HD video streams without a problem. FTP is supported as well as RSync. A printer can also be centrally attached to the USB drive of the device.

For the more technically inclined it is also possible to install WordPress server on the device along with MySQL.

Cloud integration is offered via Egnyte's Hybrid Cloud File Server. This is an excellent feature. Subscription service is needed for Egnyte and then files can be backed up in real-time off site. File can also be shared with other offices as well as business partners. Office Local Cloud is deployed on Intel® based NETGEAR ReadyNAS devices. Duo or NV+ ReadyNAS devices are not supported.

Just to make things even better, ReadyNAS Pro offers a 5 year warranty.

Cloud Solutions in Hong Kong & Singapore offers NETGear's ReadNAS products integrated with Egnyte's Hybrid Cloud File Server. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Google+ for Google Apps Enterprise available

This past week Google released a few new features to Google Apps users. This is the integration of some more of the Google+ for business features. The coolest feature is really the group video conference system. This allows up to 10 people to hold a video conference and share documents etc on-line.  This has been available in Google+ for some time via the Hangout feature but now this is available direct from your Gmail Inbox. A hangout is a multi-user video room.

The calendar is also integrated so a meeting can now be organised on-line and the correct hangout, where the meeting will be held indicated on the calendar appointment. In the same way a "Room" can be booked for a meeting, an on-line meeting can take place and launched from the reminder.

What's more is the administrator can now control if users can share documents with circles or groups, that include people outside the company domain.

With more cool enterprise based features on the way Google continues to keep a head of the market. We do expect to have a couple of editions of Google Apps next year whereby customers can select if they wish to pay for some of the enterprise features or leave them out and pay less.

You can preview Google+ premium features for Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government for free through the end of 2013. These features make it even easier for your users to share and collaborate with each other, while ensuring that confidential information stays inside your organization.