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Enterprise Software Thread, Alternatives to Exchange Server - Advice Please .. in Technical; Evening All Right, I'm working with a client at the moment to get them onto 2008R2 (from 2003SBS - or ...
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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Alternatives to Exchange Server - Advice Please ..

    Evening All

    Right, I'm working with a client at the moment to get them onto 2008R2 (from 2003SBS - or what I'm discovering to be Microsoft's Windows ME of the server world).

    Anywho, they currently make use of the exchange function within SBS, but obviously this needs phasing out as SBS is a 1 server beast, and as soon as you add another server to the domain it goes nuts.

    So, I'm looking at e-mail alternatives for them at the moment. They're only a small office and I had the foresight to set up a Free (now Legacy) Google App account for them, so they have enough e-mail addresses there, but this is where we hit issues.

    1) they like hot desking, but don't want to wait an age for logging in/out so shoving the outlook profile data as a roaming thing I don't think will be an option
    2) I suggested purely web mail function with Google Apps, but their office manager doesn't like the look of Google and she's too used to Outlook, so now they want to keep that
    3) Exchange is just too darn expensive for the 4 or 5 users that have e-mail addresses (unless I'm missing some pricing scheme somewhere, but ideally, we need to keep this future proof to a certain extent too)

    So, my secondary suggestion, I look after their web hosting too and I'm able to provide hosted exchange boxes as well as their standard e-mail, so we're looking into that as an option, but I don't think they will be truly happy unless it's all running as it currently does, so I started looking at alternative mail servers that I could install on their new server.

    So far, I've come across hMailServer (Free) and Axigen Free Mail Server (free, but expandable with additional "premium" users, though the free version would probably do them for now) and MDaemon, but that seems to be getting into the Exchange price bracket.

    So, any other suggestions for mail servers or any thoughts on those mentioned above. The mail server needs to have the ability to connect in with Active Directory for provisioning, and have a webmail access for out of office e-mail checking and such.

    Thanks All
    Andy

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    ass17's Avatar
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    We use mdaemon and has active directory password authentication, if the email address is the same as the AD username, then I makes life easier.

    Last time I checked they also have a free 5 user version.

    They have a web email based client called World Client.

    I tend to use hmailserver for smaller clients that have pop or imap boxes via the there domain. I believe development is slow with hmailserver so don't trust it to be robust and reliable, plus you would have to setup round cube on an XAMPP web server to access webmail.

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    soveryapt (25th April 2013)

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    You could look at Microsoft Exchange Plan 1 which works out £2.65 +vat per user/per month (billed annually).
    Out of interest why 2008 R2 and not 2012 Foundation/Essentials/Standard?

    Also you can add member servers to an SBS network.

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
    You could look at Microsoft Exchange Plan 1 which works out £2.65 +vat per user/per month (billed annually).
    Out of interest why 2008 R2 and not 2012 Foundation/Essentials/Standard?

    Also you can add member servers to an SBS network.
    It's what I put together for them when we were initially talking about the quote last year, so everything has been ordered and what not, I know 2008R2 and it will certainly do them for the same life span and can look at something up to date when they come to replace this.

    I looked at the exchange plans, but that's with the whole thing of profiles moving around, so I'm not bothered about cloud solutions, this thread is for their own e-mail server in house as an alternative option. It's one of those "I'm slightly losing the will to live and wish I'd know it was going to be this sort of client at the start as I would have priced myself out of the market for them" scenarios at the moment.

    Re the member servers to an SBS network, have you ever done it without then having to break microsofts EULA? The thing shuts itself down after a certain number of days of adding the new server to it and then proceeds to do hourly shutdowns unless you disable the SBS service. It's not something I ever recommended for anyone to put in in the first place even when it was out.

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    Re the member servers to an SBS network, have you ever done it without then having to break microsofts EULA? The thing shuts itself down after a certain number of days of adding the new server to it and then proceeds to do hourly shutdowns unless you disable the SBS service. It's not something I ever recommended for anyone to put in in the first place even when it was out.
    That's only if you add another DC, member servers are fine.

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    But then you don't get the advantages of the newer server functions, therefore negates your question about why not 2012

    It would keep the network at 2003 Functional Level, and whilst having new hardware, that's about it, but the old server would still be running all the functions for the network, so it's a pointless exercise (unless you're adding member servers to a newer network for other non DC specific roles - in which case, it becomes a bit more sensible, but in this particular scenario, pointless

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    You can have two DC in SBS 2008 that what I am running.

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    soveryapt (25th April 2013)

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholab View Post
    You can have two DC in SBS 2008 that what I am running.
    They probably got it right by 2008, this is 2003 SBS ..

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    We've run MDaemon for quite a few years now, and roaming profiles, IMAP and Outlook 2010 don't all play well together. For our office staff that happily move PC's during the day we've had to set the GPO to reapply their outlook profile file at each logon so it rebuilds their IMAP list and doesn't give them send and receive errors as the local cache has gone walkies.

    I've not yet tried it with Office 2013 since we've decided to move to Office365.

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    soveryapt (26th April 2013)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soveryapt View Post
    So, I'm looking at e-mail alternatives for them at the moment.
    There are various open source Exchange-like servers - Zimbra is the one that comes to mind (and there's commercial support avauilable for that), but there are several others around:

    opensource - Is there any open source Exchange server? - Server Fault
    Last edited by dhicks; 26th April 2013 at 12:34 PM.

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    soveryapt (26th April 2013)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We've used Zimbra for ages and will continue to do so. It's a cracking bit of kit for what it costs! (nowt)

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