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I'm looking to move my client's file server, mail, and AutoCad files to the cloud. They currently use public folders to organize and share the CAD drawings. What would be the best solution? Gmail for business or hosted exchange? Should I be using Sharepoint to organize and share the AutoCad drawings or will Google Docs work?

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What is your bandwidth? AutoCAD files tend to get quite large and if they can't be read and written now the users are certainly not going to thank you. –  John Gardeniers Feb 25 '11 at 2:18
    
It's 5mb up and 5mb down. The CAD files are only about 25 to 50MB each and there are only 6 users. You think this might be a problem? Should I up the bandwidth? –  user72128 Feb 25 '11 at 5:46
    
Apparently they use Outlook public folders to organize and share the cad files along w/ sharing each other's calendars. Aren't public folders kind of obsolete now? Can't Sharepoint easily replace public folders for these purposes? –  user72128 Feb 25 '11 at 5:49
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@user72128, if those were my AutoCAD files I would certainly be complaining a lot. Your users are going to have to make local copies for actual use, which inevitably means that sooner or later those files will not get put back up, which risks loss of those files or at least out of date copies. I know nothing about Sharepoint. –  John Gardeniers Feb 25 '11 at 8:26
    
Are you moving them to the cloud because that's what they've engaged you to do or are you doing it because everyone else is doing it? Is moving them to the cloud the right solution for whatever problems they may be having or for whatever needs they may have? –  joeqwerty Feb 25 '11 at 11:21

2 Answers 2

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Have you looked at BPOS or the forthcoming Office365? They are hosted exchange, sharepoint and office communications server offerings hosted and managed by Microsoft directly. There are other companies offering similar, or your could go pure cloud with a vm at Amazon.

As for public folders versus SharePoint, the last word I saw from the Exchange team is that for existing publick folder document sharing, "SharePoint may be a better option."

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We went with apps4rent (hosted exchange) and they wanted to keep the public folders. It took forever to sync up all user's public folders, but after a long weekend its good to go. Really happy with the solution. Thanks for the help! –  user72128 Mar 8 '11 at 20:21

Or just move email out to a service, and buy a cheap big dumb NAS for the AutoCAD files (and any other local shared storage needs.) NAS devices need much less maintenance than a Windows server.

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