Seven mail servers tested

Seven mail servers tested

Summary: Exchange might be the most popular but is it the best? We test the alternatives.

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Contents
Introduction
Basic Mail Server Security
IBM Domino
Ipswitch iMail Server
Kerio MailServer
Microsoft Exchange
Novell Groupwise
Sendmail
SuSE Linux OpenExchange
Specifications
What to look for
Sample scenarios
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Novell/SuSE Linux OpenExchange Server 4 (PostFix)

If a company has a requirement for a basic, easy-to-administer mailserver, then OpenExchange Server 4 must be on the shortlist for evaluation.

And before the Microsoft proponents out there start jumping up and down about us recommending Linux and its lack of formal support and how it has been mashed together by a rogue bunch of anarchistic hackers so it may not be around tomorrow, SuSE was bought last year by Novell.

So there should be plenty of support and future for this product, now it is the Linux community who can start ranting and raving about the coming of the end of the world through the commercialisation of some Linux distributions.

Installation and full configuration takes less than a couple of hours. Management is easily completed via a well-featured interface accessible through any Web browser. The underlying mail server used is called Postfix. In the basic, and even advanced, graphical configuration windows OpenExchange misses some more obscure and complex configuration options, however for all the diehards there is a page for manually changing the main.cf and master.cf postfix config files.

The menu system is well setup allowing for easy management of users and groups. Of particular note on the monitoring side of things is administrative access to a very impressive range of round robin database tool (RRDtool) graphs. For those familiar with multi router traffic grapher (MRTG) you will be familiar with the type of output Tobi Oetiker's applications produce. In the OpenExchange monitoring system RRDtool is used to show.

  1. System overview (CPU usage, system load, memory usage, processes, and swap-file)
  2. Disk I/O (I/O rates)
  3. Partitions (Free space)
  4. Network traffic (I/O etc)

If you are in the market for a basic mail server that is easy to use and monitor, then definitely look at Novell's SuSE Linux OpenExchange Server 4.

Product Novell Open Exchange
Price AU$1715 for server and first 10 clients for 12 months -- extra client starting from AU$65/12 months
Vendor Novell
Phone 03 9520 3500
Web novell.com
 
Interoperability
Linux environments only.
Futureproofing ½
Quite an impressive feature set considering the ease of deployment, administration and use.
ROI
Relatively expensive particularly when support costs are added.
Service ½
One off incident telephone support is quite expensive. Support is also available via subscription.
Rating ½
Novell/SuSE Linux OpenExchange Server 4 (PostFix)
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Topics: Browser, Broadband, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Servers

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  • Huh? IBM wins Scenario 2, but MS Exchange wins overall?
    Sorry? And MS costs almost as much for 25 users as Domino does for 200 users!? And your rating is 3.5 to 4.5!

    I am not a raving Domnio person either - I have installed a demo, but not fully committed to either: In fact I need Scenario 0.5 - 100 users, mulitple offices.

    Which I guess is somewhere else IBM comes ahead - you can run multiple servers, as it is licensed *per user*. Unlike Exchange, whose cost skyrockets if you want redundancy!

    Your report seems to have some bias in that it also did not price MSeX for wither Scenario - just gave one simple price!
    andrew310-9d50d