Migrating Mail – Part 1

At the time of writing, June 2010, I run my own mail server.  I started running my own mail server when commercial providers didn’t have good spam detection, didn’t store much mail and weren’t as convenient as using your own system and mail client.

But then Gmail arrived, in beta, and, for me, changed the game.  And now with spam levels rising ever higher, I’ve finally reached the point where my poor little virtual server isn’t powerful enough to deal with all the spam that comes with mail domains I have since 1999.

These posts are about a journey that I’m going to make in transitioning from my own server to a Google Apps Mail account.  On the way I have to:

And all without losing any mail on the way.  Or at least finding out I’ve lost mail on the way.

Why Google Apps Mail?  I’m driven by the nice user interface, tagging, searching and the fact it will just work on my Android phone.

It’s going to be a three step process:

  1. Move spam processing off the server
  2. Forward mail to Google from the existing mail mail server
  3. Change the MX records to move them to Google.

This still means that I can change back to my own (or other server) at some time in the future.  Probably that move will happen when we can have the ability to easily run email server appliances in the cloud.  Until my decentralised dream becomes a reality I’ll go with Google.