Tag Archives: google

FeedBurner: Still Alive And Somewhat Well

Google FeedburnerFeedBurner is a web feed tool that was launched in 2004. The best know web feed format is RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

FeedBurner was acquired by Google in June of 2007.

Several years later, Google’s inattention to FeedBurner made it clear that FeedBurner did not have any direct or even indirect monetization potential.

Because of Google’s lack of attention to the app, bloggers began to predict its demise. Continue reading FeedBurner: Still Alive And Somewhat Well

Google Apps for Work Under The Alphabet Structure

With Google’s recently announced restructuring, where does Google Apps for Work fit in?

Google Apps will live along side a set of related technologies, including Android (which has apps for Google Apps for Work), Search (used in Gmail, Google Drive and Google Sites), YouTube (Google Drive uses the YouTube engine) and Maps (Google My Maps is now part of Google Apps for Work). Continue reading Google Apps for Work Under The Alphabet Structure

What is G Suite?

Google Apps for WorkMost people are aware of consumer Gmail. If you don’t personally use Gmail, you likely receive email from friends and family with gmail.com addresses.

What many people don’t realize is that Gmail is also available to organizations. Gmail is just one of the components of G Suite, formerly Google Apps for Work. Other components include Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Sites. Continue reading What is G Suite?

Chromebooks vs. Tablets for Corporate Sales Teams

Chromebooks - Nothing but the webCould Chromebooks be the sleeper device that IT managers have been waiting for?

Ever since laptop computers first became widely adopted within corporations, IT departments have been responsible for imaging machines, updating software and providing remote technical and application support to salespeople and other mobile users.  Any time a notebook computer breaks, is lost, stolen, or invaded by malware, there’s a time consuming replacement and/or repair process. Continue reading Chromebooks vs. Tablets for Corporate Sales Teams

Backing Up Your Company’s Cloud Data

As businesses increasingly rely on cloud applications, should they be thinking about a backup strategy for their cloud data?  While the top tier cloud vendors have multiple levels of redundancy, there’s still a [very slight] possibility of a compound disaster that could relate in some data loss. In addition, there’s always the possibility of a “keyboard disaster”, which can occur no matter how good the technical protections are. Continue reading Backing Up Your Company’s Cloud Data

The “World is Flat” Google Infrastructure

It’s easy for a user of free GMail or of Google Apps for Work to take for granted the massive and highly sophisticated infrastructure behind what’s on their screen.  In fact, most people don’t really have any reason to think about what’s behind their user experience, any more than they care about what’s generating the electrical power that runs lights and appliances inside their house — as Nicholas Carr points out in his book, The Big Switch.

The people who are evaluating Google Apps for their organization are the ones who do care about what’s under the hood. Google’s infrastructure, of course originally designed for search, is very different from the way in which traditional IT environments are structured. While the term “cloud” is an excellent metaphor for utility computing that’s served up from somewhere out in the ether, Google’s infrastructure is very much terrestrial, and it covers a lot of ground globally.

As a basis of comparison, let’s look at the environment that many Google Apps customers have come from — Exchange Server. With Exchange Server, each user within an organization typically connects directly to a single physical or virtual box from their Outlook client. There’s usually drive redundancy, such as RAID-10, built into that server (or group of servers) and then the server is in turn, backed up.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with this environment (as long as a proper disaster recovery plan is in place), and Exchange Server is an extremely robust application.  However, one perspective on this structure is that all users are connected up to a mother ship — a form of parent/child relationship.

In many ways, Google Apps is on the complete other end of the spectrum. Users are wired into a very large, global infrastructure and data are widely distributed through Google’s Bigtable database and accompanying file system. When a user sends an email, the write is to a number of different drives that are located in different physical locations — often on different continents.

What does this architecture translate into for practical purposes?

Google Apps Uptime

This architecture allows Google to guarantee 99.9% uptime for Google Apps for Work. As we all know, for email, users’ downtime tolerance thresholds are very low. Email downtime can be very costly depending upon when it happens.

Application Cost

All Google Apps customers are on one, very large instance of Google’s application.  This makes for significant economies of scale in terms of sharing physical resources.  In addition, Google has designed their data centers around cheap, commodity hardware and free software — which makes their incremental expansion costs relatively inexpensive.  This allows Google charge only $50 per user per year for Google Apps for Work — and presumably their financial people have run the numbers on this price point.

Google Apps Upgrades

The single, multi-tenant instance also means that upgrades are frequent and transparent, compared to event-based upgrades in a legacy environment. Customers don’t have to pay anything extra for upgrades – they just happen in background. Innovation occurs very quickly and newly released innovations are usable immediately.

Collaboration

Google Sites, which is part of Google Apps, can take the place of a wiki. For example a Google Site can be used to collaborate on a project or on a set of best practices.  Google continues to enhance the more traditional document, spreadsheet and presentation categories — these are also highly collaborative in nature.

Third Party Innovation

Google Apps’s marketplace offers a variety of business productivity add-ons, some of which leverage the recently released GMail Contextual Gadget capabilities. Google Apps customers can get incremental business value with just a few clicks.

Google’s unique, flat, global architecture represents a significant shift in thinking for many IT professionals and corporate decision makers. Each day, thousands of organizations are embracing this new approach to corporate email and collaboration — and it’s still relatively early in the game.