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We have somewhere in the region of 900 users, but of these, only 200 or so are important to us. We are thinking of migrating over to Google Apps for business and need to know if we could simply set up (and pay for) 200 accounts, with the other 700 users being taken care of via an email forwarding solution.

Has anyone here got any experience of setting this sort of system up?

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, you can set up split delivery. That way, all incoming mail goes through Google's servers, but you can specify which emails are delivered to Gmail inboxes, and which are delivered to inboxes on other servers (like your current email system).

If I understand correctly, this situation applies to you:

If some users use Gmail and others use their legacy accounts, you can have mail delivered to a Gmail account or a legacy mail account depending on the recipient. This option is called split delivery.

See http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=119008

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Thank you so much for this, that was the exact answer I was hoping for. –  Rob Forrest Oct 16 '12 at 12:32
    
Ooops, I updated the answer at the exact moment you accepted it. I changed the link to a slightly more relevant support article. –  Vidar S. Ramdal Oct 16 '12 at 12:32
    
Just came to think: When you sign up for Google Apps, you get assigned a temporary domain. Thus, you could also do the forwarding the other way around: In your legacy email system, set up your 200 users to forward email to Gmail (user@temporary-google-doman.com). That way, you won't have to change MX records. –  Vidar S. Ramdal Oct 17 '12 at 10:14
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Yes you can setup groups, email aliases so email can be forwarded and/or shared with multiple users.

http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=33343

http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=33327

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It would be useful if who ever down voted this would comment as to why this isn't a good answer. Thanks. –  Rob Forrest Oct 10 '12 at 8:10
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Yes, this can be achieved very easily. You simply switch the MX records of the users you wish to move across to Google Apps and leave the others as they are.

This is a relatively standard feature for most of the Google Apps implementations we undertake as it allows for pilot projects with a subset of users.

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Hi Sean, I had no idea that you can specify MX records on a per user rather than per domain basis? Is this a feature of your DNS or something embedded into google apps? –  Rob Forrest Oct 16 '12 at 9:06
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You can't specify different MX records for different users. MX records are specific to a domain.

See also these two questions on Server Fault:

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