Exchange alternatives

Ruoh

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I'd love to hear what locally hosted, open-source alternatives you guys/gals are running.

Getting tired of the Exchange rigmarole, and looking for something we can customize for our needs. In addition, we'll be hosting our own spam filtering as opposed to MailProtector.
 

Nate7311

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Zimbra, Zarafa, Kerio Connect, there's a bunch...
How many mailboxes are we talking about?
Do you need Active Directory integration?
ActiveSync?
Brick Level Backup/Restore?
 
Last edited:

Ruoh

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How many mailboxes are we talking about?
Do you need Active Directory integration?
ActiveSync?
Brick Level Backup/Restore?

100 Mailboxes to start, and yes to the rest of it. :)

Although, my original question as to what people are actually using, and how it's working out for them. I know there are a ton out there.
 

QwertyJuan

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It's not on-site, but I still recommend using Gmail.... Google will host your email and in my limited experience it works well. AND you'll get the best spam filtering in the business. IMO of course. :)
 

Durpity

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I have been running Zimbra for almost two years now. Works great for my personal and business needs.

I've been running Zimbra OSE for my personal use for the last two years. I absolutely love it.

My company is also in the process of shifting away from MS Exchange and we are going to go with the Standard Network Edition. We have 20 local users about half of which also access their email on mobile and 3 branch offices. The testing that we have done shows it working quite well and the Outlook connector makes the change mostly transparent for my employees.
 
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I've been running Zimbra now for over 5 years. It's been a great product for me and my organization.
 

Ruoh

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So far Citadel and Zimbra look promising. Trying to get away from the per user licensing though. It's a ~20M a year company but we like to run a tight ship in the IT department and keep costs down.
 

QwertyJuan

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Is there any reason why something like hosted exchange or gmail wouldn't work for you?
 

Ruoh

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Is there any reason why something like hosted exchange or gmail wouldn't work for you?

Gmail would be a non starter, lack of privacy is an issue. As for hosted exchange, we have some users with large mailboxes that get custom artwork (Tiffs, AI etc) that add up quick. I don't want to have to watch their mailboxes on a daily basis, not to mention the bandwidth requirements for snappy mail access.

No, we want locally hosted open source as much as possible. Mainly mail and calendars, we don't use half of what Outlook really offers. Nor do we really need it.
 

Nate7311

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The fact that the vast majority of those on the list are Basic Email servers with COntacts and Calendaring either missing or added as an afterthought kills that list for me. Oh yeah, and #3 being Lotus Notes...

To the OP, you are simply not going to find any group communication suite worth using without dealing with per-user fees in some way. Kerio, Zimbra and the major alternatives all use a specific per user pricing. Some like Smartertools' Smartermail run a bit differently as they're more aimed at the hosting market, and therefore offer groups of users/domains between the different versions and then per-user costs for the toys added on top. Specifically Active-sync capability and integrated Anti Spam and such. The last time I looked, it seemed to me that Kerio had the best combo of ease of install/admin, pricing and compatibility. But that was a couple years ago.
 

Tee

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I personally use Exchange and / or Office 365 at most businesses, its far more feature rich than anything else on the market.

Zimbra or Google Apps for Business I would go with, as a 3rd party recommendation.
 

mwarps

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We used Zimbra at my old job. When I started it was great, 55 people, snappy as hell.

It becomes painful when it hits a critical mass (too much mail from lazy users) or too many users. The fact it was virtualized on underpowered, ancient hardware and the company grew 4x by the time I left could have had something to do with why it was so awful by the end.

That said my current company hosts on Exchange and it's the worst email platform I've ever used in my life. I spent 30 minutes a day waiting for it to sync or unfuck itself.
 

Oldie

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Gmail would be a non starter, lack of privacy is an issue. As for hosted exchange, we have some users with large mailboxes that get custom artwork (Tiffs, AI etc) that add up quick. I don't want to have to watch their mailboxes on a daily basis, not to mention the bandwidth requirements for snappy mail access.

That really shouldn't be a factor. The Microsoft Hosted Exchange plan has a 50GB per user email limit. If you're keeping that much data in email per user you're doing something wrong. Not saying your other reasons aren't fine, just that one.
 

pcjunkie

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No offense but there is nothing wrong with exchange if you know what your doing. Especially if your running a single domain with only a few hundred mailboxes. Learn to properly set one up and how to configure a network. Crapping on something just because you don't know what your doing is no excuse.
 

4saken

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Yeah unless money is an issue, I dont see why anyone would have trouble with Exchange implemented right. By far the most feature rich on the market by 1000-fold. We currently use zimbra with about 1000 users and while it works, i long for an exchange setup again.
 

boss6021

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+1 for Exchange. It's already been stated before, a properly setup Exchange server will do everything you want and more. I'm not sure what rigmarole is being referred to, but Exchange is easy to setup, maintain, and has more to offer.
 

Ruoh

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No offense but there is nothing wrong with exchange if you know what your doing. Especially if your running a single domain with only a few hundred mailboxes. Learn to properly set one up and how to configure a network. Crapping on something just because you don't know what your doing is no excuse.

Yeah, no offense. :rolleyes:

Exchange is a pig, but yes, I think we are going to stick with it, in the end.

Thank you to those that actually responded with the information I asked for.
 

Entilza

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I just setup a virtual machine running Ubuntu and testing Zimbra 8 and Zimbra desktop client.

I am struggling with the user interface, it just seems dated and sluggish. The web client is nice for those times when someone wants to remote in, however the main client is what I am concerned with.

Our office is stuck on outlook 2003 but without exchange, just dovecot/postfix (which is perfect for what it is). I was hoping zimbras global address book and task / calendar would benefit our company.

Still playing with it...
 

Tee

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Yeah, no offense. :rolleyes:

Exchange is a pig, but yes, I think we are going to stick with it, in the end.

Thank you to those that actually responded with the information I asked for.

You do realize it does not take huge amounts of resources to run Exchange especially inside a virtual machine, on-top of the fact you can limit how much memory it uses....... And... If you setup Exchange correctly you would separate your database's from your server install to some other set of disks.... I mean just saying because nobody in the small business world seems to do this, they think the crap should just work, even if the box has tons of resources.:D
 

schizrade

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Oh I wish I was back on Exchange. Hipsters may bash it cause it is MS, and they have to use indie shit mail piecemeal setups, but oh dear god I miss it.

I would not wish Lotus Notes/Domino on my worst enemy.
 

Innocence

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Been running Dovecot for the past 4 years. It works, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a masochist.
 
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