Been there done that
Jul 09, 2007
4:36 PM EDT
|I checked out several mail/collaboration server products recently, to get a better feel for what I as a linux consultant can offer clients in 2007.
The basic stuff that comes with decent linux distro (postfix, dovecot, squirrelmail) does all the main functions, and that's all some folks need or want, but there is a market for the bigger players.
I checked out scalix and was a bit taken aback by the wholesale approach. No plug and play there, it's just "WHAM", here's our 80 MB (effectively monolithic) tarball - I say "effectively" monolithic because although it uses what seem to be standard open source components, it insists on bringing their own j2ee environment, ldap server, and lots of other resource hungry apps. (too bad about your existing web server, dbms, MTA etc etc) - and dude, you're gonna run sendmail, like it or not!
I checked out zimbra and liked it better than scalix from an architectural viewpoint, but again they insist on bringing their own rdbms, j2ee environment, etc etc. The install didn't work on opensuse 10.2 nor SLES 10, but then on the zimbra support forum I discovered a suse install guide, which was quite helpful.
The most pleasant surprise was a commercial mail server called axigen, which installed immediately, and worked out of the box. It was nice looking and the admin interface was a pleasant surprise For very small shops, there is a free 5-mailbox license, and the next bigger size is a 25-mailbox license for around $267.
All of the above products feature spam/virus filtering through integration with spamassassin, clamav, amavisd etc, and they all do the usual smtp, pop3, pop3s, imap, imaps, webmail, but features like mobile device support are only available as extras from zimbra or scalix.
Bottom line, for most small businesses I'd recommend the axigen mail server, but for a large enterprise that needs the extra features and has $$ to spend, I'd go with zimbra.
Jul 09, 2007
5:05 PM EDT
|If you're looking for a true open source solution, TC seemed to regard Citadel very highly in a review a while back. Their web page is: http://www.citadel.org/doku.php|
Jul 09, 2007
5:19 PM EDT
|Wow, I remember hearing about the citadel bbs years ago. I'll check it out!
(edit: 20 minutes later)
OK, I checked it out - fairly straightforward install, has some really nice features, seems fairly complete, to a fault even.
There's a place for it, to be sure. If I had to pick on something. I'd say the artwork could use an update - it reminds me of the old xforms widgets, which were popular in the 90s, but look retro now. Still, some ppl may prefer that look, to each his own.
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