[Operators] Google Talk - enable or not?

Jesse Thompson jesse.thompson at doit.wisc.edu
Sat Jun 15 02:00:12 UTC 2013

I'm looking for guidance.

Our university has Google Apps enabled for our domains so that our users 
can use Google Drive, Sites, etc.  We don't use Google for Mail, 
Calendar; and we don't intend to.

Since we have a local XMPP service, we have had Google Talk disabled in 
order to keep Google routing XMPP traffic back to our local XMPP service.

Now that Google is transitioning to Hangouts, they're no longer 
supporting XMPP federation.

The apparent end result is that if we want our users to be able to chat 
with Google users, we will need to enable Hangouts for our domains in 
Google Apps.

Essentially this means that we'll need to maintain multiple IM services 
for our enterprise.  That, in and of itself is a hassle, but it gets worse.

The immediate problem is that not all Google users/domains have 
transitioned to Hangouts; some still have Talk enabled.  Google is still 
federating XMPP connections for their Talk users, but not their Hangout 
users.  We don't want to break federation for those users still using Talk.

So, at what point is it appropriate for us to enable Talk/Hangouts for 
our domains in Google Apps?

If we enable Talk/Hangouts for our domains, then in the future, if 
Google has a change of heart regarding their commitment to open 
federation standards, and they enable XMPP federation for Hangouts, then 
it will cause a huge problem for us because there will be two federated 
XMPP services hosting the same set of users.

So, should we assume that Google will or will not enable XMPP federation 
for Google Hangouts ever in the future?

If we assume that they've permanently abandoned XMPP federation, then we 
should enable Google Talk/Hangouts.  Correct?

If we assume that they *might* someday enable XMPP federation, then we 
should *never* enable Google Talk/Hangouts for our domains in Google 
Apps.  Correct?

What am I missing?


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