This is my first post about my cloud. I can tell you how whole store began.
My girlfriend works in company that is using Exchange server. I still don’t understand why 99% of Exchange administrators got stuck few years ago and almost every company is still using size limitations for mails – usually something around 2 GBs (so situation where free online mail services were few years ago).
She works for marketing company – so most emails got attachments, PDFs with tons of pictures etc. So she needs to clean her mailbox every few days and sometimes she gets rid of very important information that she could use in future.
Normal approach is to specify Archiving – but I really don’t like it, because it already happened to me few times that I simple forgot about .pst file and deleted it during re-installation of my computer. Also I also saw few times corruption of .pst files (not talking about fact that it is limited to 2GBs).
So she came with simple idea – why not to send copy of each email to Gmail account (that is about 7+ GBs at the moment).
Very simple idea, but extremely powerful :) That is when I started to think about creating my “cloud” – having everything stored locally for performance reasons, however store it also (automatically) somewhere online, so I can access is anytime\anywhere.
Simple rule (1 computer with Outlook)
To achieve it, all you need to do is to create Outlook rule to forward all emails to specified address:
1.) Select Rules and Alerts… from your Tools:
2.) Click New rule
3.) Select “Check messages when they arrive” (blank rule)
4.) Click Next – this means that all incoming mails are processed
5.) Check “forward it to people or distribution list” and specify your mail address. Also check “display a Desktop alert" (last entry) – otherwise this rule will be Server side and by default this is disabled. By checking this entry you will turn the rule to be executed at client.
6.) Next, next, next… Finish… You know the rest
I was quite easy to setup – however as mentioned before, it doesn’t work (however it is something related to local Outlook, configuration is correct).
Complex rule (multiple computers)
Once configured, I started to think that this is really nice solution – having online backup of your mails for free with searching… And that I would like to make it part of my “cloud” project:
- all emails are available locally
- all emails are available online
To make it work, it must be more complex then simple scenario discussed above. Reason is that you also want to have some synchronization between your computers, so not each of them will run these rules (otherwise each computer will send same emails).
To support this, I created new category called backup. I use this to mark that email was processed and backed up centrally.
For this you must create 2 rules. First rule will forward email to Gmail (or any other online mail), second will automatically mark email so it won’t be processed anymore.
Important is ordering of these rules.