My church has decided to sell their land and buildings in order to build and move into a new location about 20 miles away. This new site will not be completed for about a year so in the mean time, they’ll be working out of temporary offices and their homes in a much more loosely coupled fashion.
Since I handle their email, file shares, networking, and various other IT stuff on the side, I decided it was time to look at moving their data to the cloud.
Where to put all those files?
They easily have over 400GB of files on their network shares. Google Docs was the first place I looked and found that I’d have to convert all those files to GD format and the docs could not be cached locally so the user would have to be online to get to their documents. That was a non-starter for me so I nixed GD.
Next I took a look at Amazon S3. Amazon makes it very easy to get this many documents up to S3, I just send them a USB drive with all of the docs on it. And the pricing was perfect because at $0.14/GB plus the estimated number of requests and data transfer size, they would be looking at about $100/month.
What about the email?
I began to prepare the files for shipping to Amazon by locking their file shares down to read-only access and copying the files to a removable drive over a period of several days. As I was in the middle of doing this, I began to hear and read about Microsoft’s Office 365 and realized that would be perfect for their email. I wouldn’t have to manage a mail server any longer or be a liaison to their current mail provider.
For way less than the cost they were paying their current provider they could have their email in Exchange and their working office files in SharePoint in the cloud. I researched the O365 plans and set them up with the E4 plan. With this plan, they’ll be able to use and upgrade to the latest version of Office with each release, have multiple GB of mail storage, and have tens of GB of SharePoint storage.
To be continued…
I’ll continue this series with information on moving their email, setting up their contacts, and moving their files to Office 365 and Amazon.