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I've been looking into setting up my own email server the past couple of weeks and the more I look into it the more I feel that this is an area I do not want to get into. I guess my heart just isn't into email and everything that comes with it. I just want it to work and forget about it.

I've heard about people outsourcing their email to Google. I did some searches on this and I've figured out how I can send email using gmail with another email address than my gmail address but, I can't seem to figure out how to go about setting up incoming mail. Is this something you will have to do with Google App Engine?

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6 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I did the same thing recently for two of my clients. Commander Keen is correct you are looking for Google Applications. There is a free and paid plan. The paid plan has more uptime guarantees and vastly more space.

You route mail from your server to Google by modifying your Zone Record/DNS. Its not that hard to do. And they provide some decent documentation.

I've been quite happy with this arrangement as my server is not bogged down with Qmail, SpamAssasin, Horde, etc.

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I moved my companies mail hosting to Google's hosted app service more than a year ago. Have been super happy with it ever since. Zero hassles. –  orj Jun 3 '09 at 12:24
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You're mixing the terms a bit. Google App Engine is for developing your own services.

You want to sign up for Google Applications: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

When doing that, you'll get good instructions on how to relay your email through google. Both in- and outgoing.

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I think you are looking for Google Apps. It's available here.

We switched about a 18 months ago, and I'm very pleased with the service and not having to maintain my Courier + Postfix + Horde server anymore.

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Google App Engine is a platform for developers. What you need is Google Apps Messaging.

There is a free version (it shows ads) and a commercial one which has service level guarantees. One of my customers

It is a hosted solution which provides some nice features:

  • Web Interface (like Gmail)
  • Antispam/antivirus solution
  • 25 GB of space in the paid version for each account in the domain
  • Additional apps: instant message, and make high-quality voice and video communication without launching a separate application.
  • built-in search technology
  • 99% SLA in the commercial version
  • Support for POP3 and IMAP connections

One of my customers switched one of its domains with 80 accounts to the free service and had no problems so far. There is an import function for bulk-creating user accounts.

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Google offer a commercial version of GMail. This is unrelated to Google App Engine. I'd recommend not doing it in house if you're not comfortable with your ability to do it well. It's probably cheaper and easier to pay someone else to do it for you. If you're happy with Google mail, then they don't seem any worse than anyone else.

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Google apps has many benefits, but they got one feature insidiously wrong, which is mailing lists:

Google seems to have had a series of issues where they're either reject mail targeted at mailing lists or, worse, will silently drop such emails on the floor. This seems to apply both to the for-pay Premier edition and the free Standard edition.

"spam" targeted at a mailing list goes nowhere - This critical issue means that you should never use Google-Apps "groups" (mailing lists) for anything that might involve email from the general public. There is a hacky workaround, but it doesn't inspire confidence.

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