Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5? - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-17-2005, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

Hello fellow geeks. I need help picking a good, cheap/free Exchange server alternative for a client. He's running ES 5.5 right now, on an old POS NT4 SP6 box, and only using it for email (no shared folders, calendar, etc), so it makes little sense to upgrade to the latest and greatest when all the client needs is email.

The NT4 box will probably remain in service, acting as a domain controller (upgrading to Server 2003 with enough licenses is overkill, and $$$$$$), and the new mail exchange software will run on a new, modern Dell server with XP Pro. If there's an alternative to the Small Business Server 4.5 that's running on the NT box, that'd be a nice bonus. Ideally, the NT4 box (hardware) would run a compact version of Linux, handling the domain, email, filtering, internal website, and/or VPN.

I've found a few interesting options, some completely free, some costing nearly as much as Exchange 2003 itself, but I'd like to hear your opinions.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-17-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

Host it off-site. My company recently went through this dilemma. We found hosting sites that would do 500 accounts for ~$25/mo.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 4:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

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Originally Posted by ND4SPD
Host it off-site. My company recently went through this dilemma. We found hosting sites that would do 500 accounts for ~$25/mo.
The client already has that, the main use is for purely internal email, and virus scanning of all email traffic. I'm considering eliminating Exchange, and having all internal emails sent out to an external server, then received locally, but that's less secure, slower, and has its own set of problems.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 4:50 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

I'm sure there's some Unix based systems out there that are relatively inexpensive.

Why get rid of the 5.5? Is it broke?
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 5:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

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Originally Posted by ND4SPD
I'm sure there's some Unix based systems out there that are relatively inexpensive.

Why get rid of the 5.5? Is it broke?
It's a slug, partially because it runs on a 1999 machine, partially because it's not optimized, and of course, partly because it's a POS... not necessarily in the order. It's also probably vulnerable to any number of attacks, needs to be restarted often, sometimes takes hours to send and/or receive... yeah, it's a beaut.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 5:16 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

http://www.icewarp.com/purchase/new_...uite_lite.html

Merak Mail Server Lite. Simple, cost effective and doesn't take a ton of horsepower to run. Choose just the Lite server and 25 users, and it'll cost you a whole $100.

Last edited by BDA116; 02-18-2005 at 5:17 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 5:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDA116
http://www.icewarp.com/purchase/new_...uite_lite.html

Merak Mail Server Lite. Simple, cost effective and doesn't take a ton of horsepower to run. Choose just the Lite server and 25 users, and it'll cost you a whole $100.
I'll have a look.

Conq suggested http://www.smartertools.com/Products.../Overview.aspx.

Keep 'em coming
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 5:25 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

Yeah, Merak is on the comparision chart for SmarterMail. Merak does come with 25 users in their free version, vs 10 in SmarterMail. So if you can live with the few missing features, that may be the way to go since 25 would probably cover you.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 5:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

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Originally Posted by ConqSoft
Yeah, Merak is on the comparision chart for SmarterMail. Merak does come with 25 users in their free version, vs 10 in SmarterMail. So if you can live with the few missing features, that may be the way to go since 25 would probably cover you.
25 would do the trick for now and the near future.

I wonder how difficult it would be to migrate between platforms, how secure each offering is, what spam/virus options are available, etc.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 6:49 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

MDaemon is a great system. Not nearly as expensive or obtuse as Exchange and has it's own set of available Groupware if the client requires it. Not as cheap as Merak, but way more muscle bound and has extensive anti-spam and anti-virus capability. I use it as a gateway (smarthost) for all of my Exchange systems, as it reads LDAP and handles all of the "cleaning" chores. I have very little good to say about Exchange connected directly to the internet, but it runs like crazy with a smart host handling all of the SMTP chores.

MDaemon is well worth a look.
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 8:06 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

yeh smartermail is working pretty good for me. I talked the smartertools guys down to $150 as I only run 3 domains with less than 15 users.

I have rebuilt my server a few times and dont find it incredibly hard to reinstall and restore the mail files.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

If you know any Unix, you could stand up Linux or FreeBSD with Cyrus IMAP and Amavis for virus scanning. Clients could use Outlook Express (or real outlook, for that matter) to handle the e-mail. You can use Samba for file sharing and domain authentication too, if you wanted to.

Price? Free. Unlimited users.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-18-2005, 11:37 PM
 
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-19-2005, 1:10 AM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

It may be overkill for this situation, but Samsung Contact is great! Unfortunatley, its only free up to 5 users.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-19-2005, 6:43 AM
 
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Re: Good, cheap/free replacement for Exchange 5.5?

Why not go with SBS 2003 ? It could act as a DC and run Exchange for them on one machine. The upfront cost might be more but what is the cost of downtime to the business? You would be setting them up with a reliable solution that could grow with the company, SBS 2003 allows up to 75 clients and could run for several years. Anything goes wrong at least Msft is a quick call away 24 hours a day.
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