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Deploying Google Apps (Mail)

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by PacketStorm4, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    Hi,
    Wondering how other sysadmins out there have gone about deploying Google Apps across their networks.
    We have been running Google Apps for the last 12 months on our network, and have had no real issues at all, but we have alot of room for improvement.
    Currently syncing users via AD, which has worked flawlessly for us.
    My questions are:

    -How did you go about configuring email clients for the users? (Outlook 2013 + Win 8 Mail 1000+ Users.) Can this be done using GPO?
    -How do you administer / audit a user? Ie, see emails and chat in + out in a given time window.
     
  2. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    1. https://support.google.com/a/answer/148484 AND https://support.google.com/a/answer/1041455?hl=en
    2. https://developers.google.com/admin-sdk/email-audit/

    Not really sure how you did 1000+ seats without the answers to those questions...
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  3. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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  4. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    if you're coming from an Exchange background - Google Apps will feel pretty archaic in terms of achieving some of those goals.

    I would have much preferred coming from a open book. Stuff like this is just downright annoying w/ Google Apps having done most of those tasks in Recent Exchange environments.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    To be honest, I am coming from an Exchange background. Its a little hard wrapping my brain around how Google wants to do things.

    The bit i'm really struggling with is this:
    Google apps sync for outlook works, following their documentation that NSanity linked above.
    There is a multi step process of accepting thigns and entering your email address.
    But how do you make this a silent and auto process so that the experience is seamless to the user?
    So far we have been unable to find any options for the MSI, or the executable downloaded from Google.

    Or is it simply not that easy?
     
  6. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    It used to be a case of entering your details (user/pass) into the GAPP's sync tool.

    However their auth process (to allow GAPPS Outlook Sync tool to access the mailbox) now involves a browser, logging in and a "Are you really sure" - which sucks.

    I dare say some form of solution exists in their SSO api (https://support.google.com/a/answer/60224?hl=en) however Google does tend to treat Outlook as a bit of a second class citizen - not that its entirely their fault (they don't really have much pull w/ MS to alter Outlook to suit GAPPS better).
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  7. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Outlook is a client for exchange, not Gmail.

    If you don't understand the significance of that. Stop and think about it.

    Gmail is not Exchange. Outlook will not work like it does on exchange. Gmail will attempt to emulate some of exchange using a software hack, this is a workaround.

    What is the difference? A great deal.

    What will your users notice and how much will it bother them is something you need to work to determine.
     
  8. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    For the most part. Outlook behaves itself. Biggest issues i see are delays in syncing that aren't present - and lack of consistency to "encourage" connection in the event you're disconnected from the mail storage. Work offline -> Work Online doesn't fire it up the same way Exchange does. Oh and the difference between Labels (non-hierarchy based) and folders (hierarchy based) - and how Outlook handles this.

    But Iceman is right - most of the "niceties" that Microsoft have done to make Outlook easy as piss to manage in an Org with x00,000 seats, can't be applied when the transport is handled outside of Outlook and the auth for the mail transport is handled outside of MS Standards.
     
  9. thetron

    thetron Member

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    The problem is getting the users to slowly adapt to the change of interfaces between outlook and web-based email. You gotta build confidence and trust in web based service

    Some have per-conceptions about webmail from using Outlook web-mail experience thats not the best user experience or unfairly compare with Outlook.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  10. driver

    driver Member

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    As an Exchange Admin in a similar transition plan position - can I also add the following Question:

    How does one go about doing an Exchange search-mailbox style cleanup to nuke a selected email from all mailboxes within the organisation?
     
  11. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    This is definitely the hardest part about transitioning from an Outlook based email system to Gmail or Google apps. Don't underestimate how rigid people can be with their existing systems. Make sure you take the necessary steps (getting people to buy-in to a new system, contribute feedback, then do appropriate briefing and training - basic change management stuff) so that they can transition effectively. I have managed many small businesses to transition to Gmail/Google apps and it can be a challenge. Funnily enough what helped the process the most were some video tutorials that I found on YouTube which go over the basics - these seem a lot more friendly than the standard Gmail help page and works well for making sure your users aren't totally lost. This one in particular worked best for me:

     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Outlook's IMAP behaviour is radically different between versions (including Windows/OSX versions). We've been hit by some shocking IMAP bugs with Outlook users, and with our small support team have been forced to deem it completely unsupported.

    We now have users supported either via the official Google Apps, or via the GMail web interface. We're phasing out Windows anyway, and have told our MacOSX users that we no longer support Outlook on Mac due to constantly bashing our heads against IMAP bugs.

    Outlook is an "Exchange Client" first and foremost, and a "Mail client" as a distant second.
     
  13. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Thats lovely, Google Apps for Outlook Sync doesn't use IMAP.

    I'll agree IMAP on Outlook is shit, but thats outside of the scope of this thread really.
     
  14. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    I'd be interested in this also, as well as options available for legal hold and the like.


    What does Google apps for outlook use?
     
  15. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Google has a sync client which pumps an OST file. Its probably via imap, but Outlook has nothing to do with ti.
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Windows-only. Zero usefulness for our MacOSX users struggling with Outlook.

    GMail web has plenty of selling points. Enforce two-factor authentication, and you've got a consistent, zero-setup, VPN-free method of getting your staff email access anywhere in the world (even China, it appears). If your users can type in a URL, they have access to mail and docs at home without requiring you to provide them with laptops, VPN configuration, etc - and more importantly an interface that's identical to what they have at work (don't get me started on Exchange's web interface - ugh!).

    Since dropping legacy fat client support for email, our email-specific helpdesk tickets have taken a nose-dive. There's no way I'm going back to supporting fat mail clients again with our current lean support staff ratios. I'll leave that for the bloated corporates and their armies of tick and flick helpdesk.

    I genuinely believe the enterprise needs to let go of Outlook. It's time for the world to move on to far better productivity suites, and none of them are going to be fat clients. The same goes for a lot of other industries - look at developers embracing tools like those that Atlassian provide, and the enormous productivity enhancements they get as a result of moving away from the constraints of their previous methods and tools.

    GMail web, when coupled with Google's web interface for drive, docs, sheets and calendaring, far surpasses the usefulness of similar Microsoft solutions for highly mobile workforces. If you're a large corporate, flush with cash, with all your users doing the majority of their work inside corporate offices, then Microsoft have that wrapped up. But for everyone else, Google for Work is pure magic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  17. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    TBH, Outlook for Mac sucks with Exchange too (it uses ActiveSync I believe, not RPCoverHTTPS or EWS).

    Its actually the worst product out there. Maybe as bad as MYOB.
     
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I do like that MYOB is the gold standard for shit software, and that's the one case where *EVERYONE* agrees. :lol:
     
  19. Daemon

    Daemon Member

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    It's the 3rd worst email client on OSX :)

    A close 2nd is Entourage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Entourage

    A bastard hybrid which works with nothing, standardised with nothing and gives plenty of headaches. I can only think that Microsoft were using it to force users to switch to Windows.

    Aaand in position 1 is the standard Apple Mail. Anyone who thinks Outlook has poor IMAP support hasn't seen anything! SSL support just randomly fails (without error) and mail stops. The only fix is to remove the account and re-add it.
     
  20. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    I heard that Entourage from a User perspective was better?

    nfi personally - the first thing i do in front of MacOS is go hunting for terminal.
     

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