Continuing our discussion of alternatives to Microsoft Exchange in a collaboration-hungry environment, I would like to introduce PostPath. On the 9 May 2006, PostPath Inc. emerged from stealth mode and announced PostPath Server—the only drop-in alternative to Microsoft Exchange. PostPath can be deployed in active Exchange environments, interoperating with both Microsoft Exchange servers and Microsoft Outlook clients using Exchange network protocols (they see the PostPath server as an Exchange server).
PostPath’s target is very clear—to offer full interoperability with Microsoft Outlook clients and proprietary systems like Blackberry Enterprise. Full interoperability means offering full collaboration functionality without the use of any plug-ins or connectors. PostPath Server is looking to satisfy the following demands:
- Scalability and performance (fewer servers / more uses and data per server)
- Backup/Restore that is simple, fast, and granular to the message level
- Systems that are less vulnerable to viruses and other attacks
- Flexible and cost-effective mass storage options
- Better, more economical choices when it comes to virus and archiving
- Administration that approaches zero footprint, requiring fewer IT resources
- Greater flexibility and innovation for new applications, whether AJAX web-clients, CalDAV open-standards clients, MTA-filters, etc.
PostPath PPSD, PPWM, and PPCT
The PostPath collaboration system consists of three components: the Post Path Server Daemon (PPSD), Post Path Web Mail (PPWM), and the Post Path Web Configuration Tool (PPCT).
PPSD is the core of the PostPath server. This application interacts with clients like Microsoft Outlook, other mail servers both inside and outdoes of the organisation as well as content filtering and archiving services.
- Handles data exchange with both Microsoft Outlook and Webmail clients
- Deals with both incoming and outgoing mailvia Postfix MTA
- Stores user mailboxes and their contents using a standard Linux file system
- Can send tagged mail to a content filtering server (Anti-Virus and Spam Filtering)
- Interacts internally with other PostPath or Microsoft Exchange servers to share collaboration data across the organisation
PPWM is a Web-based e-mail client accessible via any Internet connection. Collaboration data is stored on the PostPath server so it can be fully interacted with using PPWM.
- Web 2.0 style application
- Full access to Calendars, Shared Calendars and Free/Busy information
- Contact List and Address book support
- Compatible with Internet Explorer™ (IE), FireFox™, and Safari™ Web browsers
PPCT is a Web-based administration tool, PPCT allows administrators to fine-tune PPSD configuration variables as well as monitor server performance and view logs.
- Web based configuration tool
- Easy administration of the Post Path server and Postfix MTA
- Allows monitoring of server performance
- Enables setting of server log and alert levels
Next week, I’ll take a look at the prerequisites for the deployment of PostPath and the implications that these introduce depending on your current operating environment. If anyone else has been following the progress of PostPath Inc. it would be interesting to hear your comments.