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Bringing email in-house, What to use?

By NCSU Wolfpack ·
Our company is thinking of bringing email in-house. We?ve setup a test environment and used Mail-Enable and it worked. We used 10 user accounts to test to make sure we had our MX records, A records, and DNS settings were configured correctly. I?ve looked around for opinions, and of course there?s Exchange. Kerio seemed to have a big following. I need something that doesn?t need a whole lot of administration since there is only two system administrators, and we have to travel quite a bit. We?ll start with 250 email users but will grow to about 400 email users. I?m looking for any experience that you may have with your environment that you either administer or use. I searched the forum, but I couldn?t quite find what I was looking for. If this topic has been discussed (most likely it has), I apologize for not finding it. B-)

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E-mail tends to require...

by Kjell_Andorsen In reply to Bringing email in-house, ...

...quite a bit of administration no matter which system you use. There are few things users (ab)use more, and once it's brought in-house you'll find it will become a big part of your daily workload.

My main experience is with Exchange, and I like it because of the easy integration with Active Directory. It sounds like you would be able to get by with a relativly simple setup. IF you have decent hardware a simple Frontend/backend server solution should work, with the front end providing OWA access and relaying of messages to the internet, and the mailboxes being stored on the backend. Of course there may be many other factors on your network that would influence this desicion, if you would like to share a bit more detail we might be able to give more targeted advice.

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thanks for the reply

by NCSU Wolfpack In reply to E-mail tends to require.. ...

Dell Poweredge 2650 will be the server. The OS will be Windows 2003 server. My network is multi-frame with 24 remote sites each with 512K circuit.

Our email now is hosted by deltacom which has no spam protection availiable with their servers. So, each client is connecting via pop/smtp, so any migration should be pretty straight-forward. When we bring it in house, we want the mail to be stored on the server (imap, I assume), so if there are any local pc crashes, no problem. I guess the most important info is that the mail will be stored on a server.

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by nathan In reply to thanks for the reply

We've used Mdaemon from for 7 years, and we have been very happy with the product.

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re: Mdaemon

by scope In reply to Mdaemon

We also use Mdaemon and have had it for 8 year. Performs well at a good price!

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Mdaemon is great!

by Jiffy_Jon In reply to Mdaemon

I too have used Mdaemon. It is a great program, and it is inexpensive comparitively speaking.

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by peter.milne In reply to Mdaemon

Mdaemon gets my vote for a small mail system. Notes just isn't a real mail system. Exchange with Outlook does have the advantage of PIM but needs expert support, as others have remarked.

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If using AD, use Exchange

by tmickey In reply to thanks for the reply

Since the Dell server will run Server 2003 I would recommend Exchange 2003, that is if you are using MS Active Directory. Exchange integrates w/ AD great. Use Outlook 2003 w/ RPC over HTTPs for the clients. When you purchase Exchange server licenses it includes Outlook 2003 licenses. For spam/anti-virus use a Barracuda Anti-spam/virus firewall. I used Debian linux w/ Postfix, ClamAV, and spam assassin for Spam/anti-virus before the Barracuda, Debian required too much maintenance. I love the Barracuda. Exchange is low maintenance too. I sleep better at night because of them. If you are buying a new server get 64-bit hardware and OS and use Exchange 2007.

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Use what the pro's (ISPs) use...

by Tachyon In reply to Bringing email in-house, ...

Once setup, these servers tend to be reliable, secure performers.

Go to
and pick out what information you need.
I've got users over 1000 e-mail boxes on setups like this. We had one that ran several years on a Pentium box with 400 users before they finally had us upgrade the HW out of the new manager's disbelief that it could do the job.
Another nice option is SuSE's OpenExchange server.
UNIX type systems really do excel at this type of job and IMO are a better choice than Exchange which requires constant maintenance and administration. Not to mention it's way more expensive in HW, SW, and licensing costs.

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by NCSU Wolfpack In reply to Use what the pro's (ISPs) ...

I'll check out the link you provided. Unix based systems are not an option (not my choice).

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Do not have choice of platform? Sad!!!

by atulasthana In reply to thanks

I guess, you need to do a little selling about Linux and qmail/open exchange etc. to your organisation. This will not only save you money and resources, it will also save you hassles of instability, hacking and virus/worms hitting the server.

I have used Exch, Lotus Notes and Qmail based mails servers and can vouch for the Linux/Qmail (or whatever else) combination.

Check out other Linux distros too. CentOS, FC6, Debian are all a very good choice. They will all run you mail for years without problems (also without keyboard, mouse and monitor).

All the best.

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