Cemaphore Systems this week introduced, in beta-test form, an email synchronisation system allowing enterprises or smaller organisations to dispense with their Exchange backup infrastructure in favour of the Google "cloud," synchronising Outlook, Exchange and Google's applications.

The product, called MailShadow for Google Apps (MailShadowG), is offered as a service, and will eventually be made available for a monthly subscription fee. (An earlier version of MailShadow was reviewed here.)

The company is aiming equally at enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses and individual users, arguing organisations at any level can benefit from email protection and savings on infrastructure.

The company claims its product is the first of its kind to be based on Google Apps.

"We expect this development will have a significant impact on the implementation, management, and archiving of email content in the future," said Cemaphore president and chief executive Tyrone Pike, in a statement.

The synchronisation occurs at the transaction level, meaning email, contacts and calendar data are visible via Outlook or Google Apps at any time, and eliminating the database replication processes used in conventional Exchange backup.

The system also means greater portability, lessening organisations' dependence on Exchange, Cemaphore said. Organisations often need to licence and maintain several copies of Exchange solely for backup purposes. Larger enterprises could elminate the infrastructure, hardware, co-location facilities and management of internal mail systems ordinarily needed for email continuity, Cemaphore said.

Peter Christy, principal at Internet Research Group, noted that the system could offer a fully protected email backup system for smaller organisations without the IT resources or sophistication to implement a non-hosted Exchange offering.

Future versions of MailShadow will also work with other email service providers' products, Cemaphore said.

In February, Acronis launched a family of database backup and recovery software, designed to secure databases including Exchange.

Based on the company's existing True Image Architecture, Acronis Recovery is designed to let IT managers and database administrators (DBAs) quickly, easily and securely back up and recover databases to the point of failure, including tables, logs and all other components.

Techworld's Christian Harris contributed to this report.