Linux Sysadmin Blog

Utilizing Google Apps Email as a Web Host - Sign of Strenght or Weakness?

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PrometHost offers best of class hosting for websites, databases, and other services such as email, domain registration, spam filtering, etc. We have recently made a decision to focus on three things for our hosting offering: * security * reliability * scalability

Performance is obviously important, and we help with performance on a case by case basis.

As with most businesses, we use third party tools and solutions to put together our offering. The value that we bring with our hosting offering depends on the processes and decisions along with the quality of implementation. We make decisions to use a reliable Data Center and provider of primary and secondary power and IP. We make decisions on hardware choices (HP, CISCO, etc), and software platforms (RedHat, cPanel, etc.) and software services (srsPlus, Netcleanse, etc). In terms of email – we chose an email server, spam service and configuration options. With the constant battle with spam bots, physhing scams, along with other more serious threats to data security we have decided to look for the best in class email service to offer to our clients so that we can focus on our core offerings.

We have looked at a number of options. Installing network filtering solutions such as Barracuda ( and Sonicwall 9 ) . We have looked at beefing up our Netcleanse solution as well as using on server open source solutions such as spam assassin. However no option stood out as well as Google Apps.

Google apps not only is seamless in integration on the back end as well as the customer, but it also comes with some impressive set of tools which are extremely valuable to anyone running their business, virtual or not (Calendar, Docs, etc.

We have made this decision several months before this slashdot story was exposed: “Large webhost urges customers to use Gmail.”

Although there were some negative comments I think the slashdot community understood and supported the decision. We stand by it and will always offer our customers an alternative to gmail but will recommend it as it is the best of class option at the moment.

The decision was not easy as we really like to manage as many things as we can and “outsourcing” it seemed like giving up on it, but business wise this was one of the best decisions we made. Fighting spam is frustrating and if there is a free better solution out there and most of your customers will not notice a difference if they use POP or IMAP, except maybe less spam.