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The Cloud and University Email Services

For nearly a decade, CIT has engaged with the process of shifting IT services to cloud service vendors and providers. The goal: To deliver quality IT services, maintain flexibility, and redirect resources to more directly supporting the core missions of the university: education, research, and outreach.

The end result of transitioning to the cloud is letting vendors handle routine or commodity aspects of the service, while Cornell staff can use their time and skills to address university needs that the vendors can't, and that will help the Cornell community achieve their goals more quickly and easily.

While these benefits become clear once transitions are past, it's always vital to make sure each change is handled carefully to reduce the amount of disruption that can occur.

Though many components of Cornell's email services moved to the cloud with the provision of Google mail services for students in 2009 and staff and faculty email's migration to Office 365 in 2012-2013, some parts remained in place on campus. The most recent examples are campus systems that handle the routing of email and spam control.

Faculty, staff, and other users of Cornell's Office 365 were shifted to having their email routed directly to Office 365 last year, rather than first passing through on-campus systems. Spam handling for their mail, also once filtered by a system on campus, is being done for them by Microsoft's processes built into Office 365.

We are counting down to the move of student email routing to cloud services, which will occur August 13, 2018. In order to remove Cornell systems from the path email follows, student email will join faculty and staff email in going first to Cornell's Office 365, at which point student mail will then be automatically forwarded to their Cornell Google account.

Since Who I Am, the historic means of setting email to be forwarded to a non-Cornell email account, comes out of the mix when routing doesn't occur on campus, students will have to set any forwarding they may want in Google's settings. Communications have been sent regularly since April to students whose Who I Am forwarding will end in August, advising them of this and the need to set forwarding in their Cornell Google account. (Details about how it’s done. Another option for students who are forwarding to an outside Gmail account is to sign into their multiple accounts at once instead of forwarding.)

More information about the benefits of using cloud IT services.

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