I have confidence in Google's ability to keep their e-mail service up-and- running and keep proper backups of data, but my e-mail history is my data and I like to have my own copy of it. Since Google provides access to your Google Apps (and Gmail) e-mail over IMAP, you can do all kinds of things using standard tools, e.g. synchronize your Gmail e-mail to a local mailbox using IMAP.
I run an Ubuntu box at home and it was easy to install the
package to get an IMAP server installed. Since my box is behind my
router/firewall, I'm wasn't that concerned with tweaking Dovecot's default
configuration, but I'm sure you could fiddle with the config to ensure that
Dovecot only binds to
From there, it's just a matter of using
imapsync, just like I ended-up
using previously to
initially transfer all my e-mail to my Google Apps account.
Here's the script:
--regextrans2 option rewrites IMAP folder-names on-the-fly, so that my
local IMAP folder structure can be different than the structure on Gmail's
server. For example, the top Gmail IMAP folder is
[Gmail] which wasn't all
that useful for me, so instead I rewrote that top-level folder to be
username@somedomain so that the local folder name (e.g. in
match the source e-mail address.
You can also use the
--include option to decide which IMAP folders to copy.
I opted to just copy “All Mail” and “Sent Mail”, which gives me a copy of all
my mail but doesn't preserve any information about the labels I might have had
assigned to those messages in Gmail.
The initial copy will definitely take a few hours (or more), depending on how much e-mail you have in your Gmail account. But this works great for me and stores the mail in “mbox” format locally so I can even access the mail locally via mutt/alpine/etc.