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Yale Delays Move To Gmail 176

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-in-the-cloud dept.
Mortimer.CA writes "The Yale Daily News is reporting that the move to Gmail has been postponed. After further consultations with faculty and staff, the concerns raised 'fell into three main categories: problems with "cloud computing" (the transfer of information between virtual servers on the Internet), technological risks and downsides, and ideological issues.' In the latter category, 'Google was not willing to provide ITS with a list of countries to which the University's data could be sent [i.e., replicated], but only a list of about 15 countries to which the data would not be sent.'"
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Yale Delays Move To Gmail

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  • Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by butterflysrage (1066514) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:14PM (#31692606)

    I would be more than a little interested in that list too...

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:36PM (#31692988) Journal

    I was considering a GAPE deployment for a much smaller organization (about 150 users) and ran into real problems finding answers to some questions. In my particular case I was considering a migration off of Exchange. The exact specifics involved were really vague and often times the suggestion was, "Talk to a solutions provider." I went ahead and talked to two of them. When I pressed them for specifics about GAPE replication of Exchange features (Public Folders for example), I got a lot of vague answers along the lines of either, A. "Well, it can kind of do that." or B. "You don't need to do that because the Google way is better."

    The major consideration that turned me away from Google was their support (or seeming complete lack of it). I had a terrible time getting my pre-sales questions answered when I went directly to Google. The "premiere partners" (companies that are trying to make a business based on deploying GAPE for organizations) were just as vague. One of them even admitted to me that they have problems getting answers out of Google about new features, or the status of outstanding issues.

    I am subscribed to a thread on Google's forums that details people's real world problems with Google support.

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Apps/thread?hl=en&tid=384dd0d72db87c6d [google.com]

    Some of the people are obviously idiots who can't read the documentation. The large majority of them have serious problems that are ignored. Just recently someone mentioned that Google quoted them 5 days to recover an accidently deleted mailbox.

    I don't doubt that Google Apps could very well be a great product. The key is that it "could" be a great product. Great products require great support. Great products require a certain ease of implementation and use. As it stands currently, GAPE is more like a beta framework that requires a lot of heavy lifting on the part of an IT department. It is hardly a production ready, polished product that can be sold as a service.

  • Re:Good for them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:44PM (#31693086)

    'From:{sender}', 'subject:{subject}', 'after:{mm/dd/yy}' or 'before:{mm/dd/yy}'. Problem solved?

    No sir/madam!

    By just looking at what you have written, I can conclude that it will not sort! Or will it?

  • Re:Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:44PM (#31693098) Journal

    So if I'm Dutch and store my downloads from Seventeen in my Google account, and that data makes its way over to the U.S., does that mean I've committed a child porn crime?

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:45PM (#31693118) Homepage

    If you forced a login with a quick time out for all of those gmail accounts, that's a hell of a lot more secure than storing the documents on your laptop, which can be stolen and broken pretty easily. (These kids aren't going to password protect bootup and encrypt the hard drive. ) If you need an e-mail even if the internet is down, it should probably be in your notes in your word processor anyway. And unless you're not going to use WiFi, you are already sending your data over insecure connections.

    And if you think other ISPs don't give up your data already... well, you're just not paying attention. [eff.org]

    If you want to use and share data on the internet, there are risks. If you want to remember something that cannot possibly be intercepted by a third party, write it down on a piece of paper, put it in a safe, and hope no one steals the safe.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:50PM (#31693182)

    What's Seventeen in Holland? When I hear that name, I think of an American magazine for teenage girls.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:53PM (#31693232) Homepage

    > ...does that mean I've committed a child porn crime?

    No, because _you_ have done nothing inside USA jurisdiction. It may mean Google has, though.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Angry Mick (632931) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:57PM (#31693286) Homepage

    If there's one area GMail or any other cloud provider should not be used, it's law firms.

    Oh, you'd be surprised how many have already made the switch. My firm's a non-profit, so the costs alone, or lack thereof in GMail's case, are a huge incentive to make a switch. Couple licensing fees with sharp increases in demand for management of issues like retention policies that can vary with statutes of limitations, data loss, time-based archiving, and legal compliance and its easy to understand why a lot of firms are just giving up as the headaches just don't seem worth the effort.

    Personally, I'm leery of the, but it's hard to go your boss with a proposed budget of close to $100,000 for an internally managed system versus $0 (and some geek's time) to drop the problem on someone else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:57PM (#31693292)

    The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act.

    Seems to me that Yale is under the purview of this law, and therefore must have control over the disclosure of student records.

    Does Gmail still do grepping of the emails for targeted advertising in these corporate-agreement hosting situations? If so...big problem. At my college, I can't even send an email to a student unless its sent from/to an address in our internal, private (https only) webmail system.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by terraformer (617565) <tpb@pervici.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:00PM (#31693336) Journal

    Assuming you are in the US....

    You need better lawyers in that firm. If you were concerned about privacy, you should have realized that the US government has very few privacy protections it must follow for snooping on overseas data. So if you store your stuff in Europe, the US government can get to it without much worry. They may not be able to *use it against you or your clients* in a domestic criminal or civil trial, but they can get access to it with little in the way of liability.

  • by m93 (684512) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:04PM (#31693388)
    What you outline here makes me think that Microsoft will have an edge in cloud based email. Say what you will about MS, but they do have tremendous support resources from their company on down to solutions providers. If they are successful in putting exchange in the cloud, it will have a lot to do with them taking advantage of the current old-school knowledge base. I couldn't imagine Google trying to port my company's (complicated but works well) exchange system over to Gmail. It would be a nightmare.
  • Re:Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:07PM (#31693446)

    I would be more worried about "If I'm Dutch, and doing something at a research lab at my university" whether its corporate funded, military, or maybe medical research with client data included... Would a nosy sheriff of a county with a large, competing university in the US be able to subpoena my emails, since it might be stored in the US servers?

  • Re:Know what... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by teknopurge (199509) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:19PM (#31693590) Homepage

    "10 USD/mailbox/mth for exchange hosting"

    And this is different from Google how? Id much rather put my security in the hands of the best software company in the world with a stunning track record for security.

    Apparently you missed the recent issues with the Chinese govt? That was only the most recent publicized breach they had.. No offense but if you consider Gmail's track record "stunning" I would hate to see what you consider awful.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by astrashe (7452) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:20PM (#31693606) Journal

    Google owns a company called Postini that you can use to archive your email -- they can keep you in compliance with email retention rules.

    Privacy is a big concern. I sort of feel like it's over anyway -- google already knows everything about everyone.

    I found the admin tools to be a little lacking. If A is out of town, and B needs to get into their email, that sort of thing. It's harder to go in and tweak a user's settings for them than it is with our current system (notes).

  • Re:Know what... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Angry Mick (632931) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:11PM (#31694196) Homepage

    Fully understand, and didn't take it as turfing.

    The problem is that in the non-profit sector you have a long history of going with the lowest common denominator. Since I've been at this firm I've had to fight for things as simple as a "thou shalt not browse the porn" policies. Because they're so technologically "green" there's often not enough of a framework in place on which to build a good system, so there's a high tendency for "rip and replace". The system I've been nursing for the last ten years is such a system, and when I announced we were approaching critical mass, we brought in consultants to analyze what was in use and recommend options based on what the attorneys said they needed.

    This is where the costs began to climb. The attorneys recommended systems that would require them to invest as little personal responsibility as possible (think: HAL 9000 level AI). Thanks to some rather unrealistic demands, and some outright paranoia, most all of the vendors came back with quotes in the 100K ballpark, and most of these dictated a complete top-to-bottom overhaul.

    Nothing's been decided yet, so we're still mushing through the options looking for cheaper alternatives.

  • Re:Know what... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bronster (13157) <slashdot@brong.net> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:32PM (#31695116) Homepage

    I should point our sales critter at you! FastMail does very similar things, and has an archival system for businesses needing to retain all emails for discovery purposes.

    We also have very good privacy policies - plus being Australian based but with all the servers in the US, we're very well set up to protect privacy.

    Australian privacy and telecommunications law means we _can't_ comply with US subpoenas, it has to go via a convoluted mutal assistance treaty that ends up going via the Australian Attorney General. US law enforcement are a lot more willing to accept "I can't do that or I'll be breaking the law" than "I refuse on moral grounds" because any information is unusable unless it's come via the appropriate due process. It certainly puts a stop to speculative fishing!

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:38PM (#31695868) Journal

    I'm considering doing this for a small business I support.

    It's about 15 users and they currently run exchange, I'm tired of supporting it and frankly too lazy, people keep suggesting google handling the mail.
    I've set up a test domain and used Outlook and Thunderbird to connect to it via IMAP (that's the right way to do it, right?)

    I'm in Australia on ADSL2 links, 20mbit and 16mbit are the 2 I've tested from, the performance seems 'laggy' and I'm curious what the cache implimentation of Outlook 2007 is like?
    I want the users experience to be very close to what they get with exchange or at least comparable.

    The users have huge mailboxes (most of their work is email - a LOT of communications) so they need massive mailboxes - the smallest is 1gb and some of them have them in the 15gb range. (Please, please don't tell me 'you're doing it wrong' or 'users need to be trained to XYZ' - this is how they work, this works for them and helps them get stuff done better, it needs to be this way)
    Now the first major issue, besides the lag on IMAP is the folder limitation google have in place. I can create folders and subfolders and more subfolders but the path depth for the folders is quite shallow compared to an outlook PST. This is due to 'folders' being implimented via tags on gmail :/ Does anyone know a way around this or plans for it to change?
    I agree the users shouldn't have ridiculous folder depth but they really do need fairly extensive folder information
    \name of project\name of company\name of person\ for example is pretty difficult to do via IMAP Gmail :/

    Anyone else have some overall general comments about moving to externally hosted mail with google (or someone else?)

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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