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chuckmalani

Moving Email To Google Apps (gmail)

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Google is advertising a new service that allows you to use gmail as your webmail backend. For me, that seems like a no-brainer because they offer 2GB of storage per email account. Gone are the days that I have to monitor my wife's contractors to make sure they didn't email a huge spreadsheet around (or a bunch of vacation photos). However, I realize that this is something that needs some technical setup, and I wanted to make sure that TCH supported such a practice.

 

I'm testing the migration on my sandbox account (www.chuckmalani.com) first. I've requested a new CNAME DNS entry for gmail.chuckmalani.com. The next step is to change the MX records. Here is the text from the google page (URL not included because it points to my google cpanel...)

 

Changing Mail Exchange (MX) records

 

Mail Exchange (MX) records control how incoming email is routed for your domain. Before Google can host your email, you'll need to change these MX records to point to our servers.

 

If your domain already has email addresses, please be careful changing MX records. To avoid disruption in email service, be sure to create the same set of user accounts with the control panel before changing your MX records Learn more.

 

If you're not ready to change your MX records yet, use the temporary email address assigned to your user accounts when you create them. The temporary email address will be deactivated once you change the MX records. You must also verify domain ownership before using any Google Apps.

 

1. Sign in to your domain hosting company's website using the username and password associated with your domain.

2. Navigate to an MX record maintenance page. MX records are special DNS (Domain Name Service) records, and are often located under sections titled "DNS Management," "Mail Server Configuration," or "Name Server Management." You may need to turn on advanced settings to allow editing of these MX records.

3. Delete any existing MX records before entering new MX records.

4. For each MX record, enter information according to the entries in the following table.

 

You may not be allowed to enter the priority values exactly as they appear in the table below; in that case, simply ensure that the server addresses are prioritized in the same order as they appear in the table. (i.e. The priority ranking [1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5]should work just as well as [1, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10, 10] so long as you keep the addresses in the right order.)

 

If you're asked to specify the type of each record you're adding, enter "MX".

 

MX records often require the specific format of DNS records, including a trailing dot (".") at the end of any full-qualified domain names (e.g. "server.example.com.")

 

Set any TTL values to the maximum allowed.

MX Server address Priority

ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 1

ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 5

ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 5

ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 10

ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 10

ASPMX4.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 10

ASPMX5.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 10

 

Is this supported by TCH?

 

Thanks,

Chuck

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Disclaimer: Your setup may be different than mine. (but I doubt it)

 

I basically sent the message above to the Help Desk in a ticket with the domain name I'm switching and it took them about 10 - 15 minutes (I marked it low priority) to get it set up and for emails to start flowing. Do the part Google requires and the help desk can take care of the CNAME type stuff here.

:(

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Likewise, I also took advantage of this service and TCH took care of the MX record change quickly and without fuss!

 

And though it took me a bit to get use to Google's email client, I really like it and their spam checker is outstanding!

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I've been a proponent of this method for a long time now. I've been using gmail for my personal mail for 3 years or more, so it made sense to let gmail manage my hosted mail as well.

 

The only problem I've found is that occasionally if my server gets restored from backup for some reason, the MX records are reset. To avoid losing mail from this problem, I set up a redirect in my Email Forwards section for every e-mail address I have on my Google Apps page. Those addresses re-direct to a non-TCH hosted account. That way, if the MX records are ever reset by accident, I don't lose messages.

 

This resetting of the MX records has happened to me three times, but TCH has always been quick to fix it once I point it out.

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The only problem I've found is that occasionally if my server gets restored from backup for some reason, the MX records are reset.

 

i'm finally getting around to doing this, but now this restore thing has me worried.

 

TCH - is there something that can be done to your automated server restore process that reloads the MX records without customer request?

 

thanks,

chuck

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I would think that it is part of the backup / restore system.

 

In my case I had the same problem but I made the change on one day and the server had to be restored that same day so the last backup, which was only probably a couple of hours old, didn't have my change in it. I don't think they would neglect MX records from the backups though.... it was just bad timing for me.

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Not the case for me.

 

In my case, I'd had my MX records set and working for a couple of months. Then on two separate occasions, I stopped getting new messages in my Google Hosted account. A check of the MX records showed that the records had been reset to the default TCH settings. Help desk tickets indicated it was due to a server restoration.

 

Maybe this has changed, as I haven't had this trouble for a couple of months. But I would still advise people considering using a different MX record (required for Google Apps) to have a backup plan in place in case something happens and the MX record gets reset. At least, you should have a backup plan if you care about not missing any messages. :clapping:

 

Hopefully you'll never need a backup plan, but its never a bad idea to have one just in case.

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This would be a question for the helpdesk, so please open a ticket. ;)

Thomas-

 

I didn't mean specifically for my account, but for TCH in general. I would think that this is a common issue and everyone would like to see the answer, as opposed to it being locked away in my help desk tickets. Is there a way to get a formal response rather than me going over there and posting the answer back here?

 

Also, one follow up question - If i transition my account over to Gmail, the minute the MX records are updated, all new emails to be directed to those servers. However, what about any old emails?

 

Can we still login the TCH webmail and retrieve emails delivered prior to the migration?

 

Thanks,

Chuck

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Can we still login the TCH webmail and retrieve emails delivered prior to the migration?

Yes.

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