Google Hosting

It seems to me that a fairly well-hidden feature of Google Apps is that you can map a Google Site to a “regular” url, like

In essence this means that if you get all the features that you want with a Google site and the other integrated services (email, calendar, docs, etc), then you can use Google for all your hosting needs. Obviously if you want WordPress or some custom component, it’s not going to meet your needs, but it will work for a lot of people, and it’s free (and obviously very reliable). It’s also got excellent documentation, ease of use and in the long-term a web site design contractor doesn’t have to worry so much about those endless requests for support or upgrades.

I’ve just more or less finished setting a friend’s business up like this and they couldn’t be happier. It’s a site for a rehabilitation service for pets.

Moving to Google Apps for Education

I’ve written about Google Apps before and they have continued to expand and improve the service.

This weekend I’m in charge of moving 300,000+ users from our internal email system to Google Apps for Education. Fundamentally, I suppose, I’m in charge of the whole project. I’m excited about it because of the fantastic expansion of services it offers our students, faculty and staff. At the same time, it’s another high profile project, so the risks are magnified should something go wrong. Go Live is tomorrow morning first thing.

We’re not only creating the accounts, but have to get single sign-on (via SAML) right, account synchronization, and we are also migrating all the students’ old email via IMAP from the old system. That’s what is taking the big chunk of time right now. It’s sufficiently big enough that I’m getting some server errors on our migration history page, so although I feel pretty confident that things are going okay, I don’t actually know for sure.