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OT: Large corporate email systems - Exchange vs open source *nix based

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  • Charles Marcus
    Hello, There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server. I want to try to nip this in the bud. I would like to ask
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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      Hello,

      There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server. I want to try to nip this in the bud.

      I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of comparison of large(r) commercial companies use of email systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.

      I know that many (if they are smart) Admins that do use Exchange internally will use postfix (or something else linux/unix based) in front of it as their relayhost (for both inbound and outbound), so just counting the number of publicly accessible smtp servers won't be a good gauge.

      Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years) that provide such a comparison?

      --

      Best regards,

      Charles
    • Charles Marcus
      Hello, There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server, and I want to try to nip this in the bud if possible. I
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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        Hello,

        There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server, and I want to try to nip this in the bud if possible.

        I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of comparison of mid to large(r) commercial companies use of email systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.

        I know that many (if they are smart) Admins that do use Exchange internally will use postfix (or something else *nix based) in front of it as their relayhost (for both inbound and outbound), so just counting the number of publicly accessible smtp servers won't be a good gauge.

        Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide such a comparison?

        --

        Best regards,

        Charles
      • DTNX Postmaster
        ... Do your own comparison based on the TCO of what you have, vs. what you will need for Exchange Server. Focus on the needs of the company over a five-year
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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          On 10 Dec 2013, at 14:57, Charles Marcus <CMarcus@...> wrote:

          > There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server, and I want to try to nip this in the bud if possible.
          >
          > I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of comparison of mid to large(r) commercial companies use of email systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.
          >
          > I know that many (if they are smart) Admins that do use Exchange internally will use postfix (or something else *nix based) in front of it as their relayhost (for both inbound and outbound), so just counting the number of publicly accessible smtp servers won't be a good gauge.
          >
          > Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide such a comparison?

          Do your own comparison based on the TCO of what you have, vs. what you will need for Exchange Server. Focus on the needs of the company over a five-year time period.

          Include the higher hardware requirements, licensing, extra staff, third party software (backup, management software, archiving ...) and so on. If cost is a factor for the company, you might be able to win on that.

          I don't think there are comparisons out there that are not at least somewhat biased to the product someone is trying to sell, but there may be snippets you can use in your own comparison. Find the whitepapers for Atmail, CommuniGate Pro, OpenExchange, Scalix, Zimbra, and so on. Compare your requirements vs. their feature lists.

          If you do decide to go for a third-party 'Exchange compatible' solution, don't forget to factor in the cost of client deployment; there is usually a plugin of some sort that needs to be installed for full Outlook client compatability, if that's what people want to use.

          Good luck! :)

          Mvg,
          Joni
        • Giles Coochey
          ... I don t find any available statistics for Market share, but my ballpark guesses for non-service provider commercial environments are something like (Only
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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            On 10/12/2013 13:57, Charles Marcus wrote:
            Hello,

            There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server, and I want to try to nip this in the bud if possible.

            I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of comparison of mid to large(r) commercial companies use of email systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.

            I know that many (if they are smart) Admins that do use Exchange internally will use postfix (or something else *nix based) in front of it as their relayhost (for both inbound and outbound), so just counting the number of publicly accessible smtp servers won't be a good gauge.

            Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide such a comparison?

            I don't find any available statistics for Market share, but my ballpark guesses for non-service provider commercial environments are something like (Only thinking about MDAs, not MTAs):

            Microsoft Exchange ~ 65%
            IBM Notes ~ 32%
            Others ~ 3%

            All the above probably have open source or open source based appliance MTAs as a majority, acting as smarthosts, anti-spam / anti-virus, load-balancers etc...

            Other than in the service provider space I don't think you'll find many using open-source MDAs.
            -- 
            Regards,
            
            Giles Coochey, CCNP, CCNA, CCNAS
            NetSecSpec Ltd
            +44 (0) 8444 780677
            +44 (0) 7983 877438
            http://www.coochey.net
            http://www.netsecspec.co.uk
            giles@...
            
          • Charles Marcus
            ... I will be doing this obviously, and yes, cost will be a factor, but not a huge/insurmountable one. My question has to do with the POLITICAL aspect of this
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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              On 2013-12-10 9:23 AM, DTNX Postmaster <postmaster@...> wrote:
              Do your own comparison based on the TCO of what you have, vs. what you will need for Exchange Server. Focus on the needs of the company over a five-year time period.
              
              Include the higher hardware requirements, licensing, extra staff, third party software (backup, management software, archiving ...) and so on. If cost is a factor for the company, you might be able to win on that.

              I will be doing this obviously, and yes, cost will be a factor, but not a huge/insurmountable one.

              My question has to do with the POLITICAL aspect of this question of what constitutes 'normal' for mid to large(r) companies.

              --

              Best regards,

              Charles
            • Robert Schetterer
              ... what means political ? such as with closed source you never know about backdoors ? Best Regards MfG Robert Schetterer -- [*] sys4 AG http://sys4.de, +49
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                Am 10.12.2013 15:42, schrieb Charles Marcus:
                > My question has to do with the POLITICAL aspect of this question of what
                > constitutes 'normal' for mid to large(r) companies.

                what means political ? such as
                with closed source you never know about backdoors ?


                Best Regards
                MfG Robert Schetterer

                --
                [*] sys4 AG

                http://sys4.de, +49 (89) 30 90 46 64
                Franziskanerstraße 15, 81669 München

                Sitz der Gesellschaft: München, Amtsgericht München: HRB 199263
                Vorstand: Patrick Ben Koetter, Axel von der Ohe, Marc Schiffbauer
                Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender: Florian Kirstein
              • DTNX Postmaster
                ... In my experience, if the only vector you can argue on is the political one, you will have an Exchange implementation on your hands; normal equals
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                  On 10 Dec 2013, at 15:42, Charles Marcus <CMarcus@...> wrote:

                  > On 2013-12-10 9:23 AM, DTNX Postmaster <postmaster@...> wrote:
                  >> Do your own comparison based on the TCO of what you have, vs. what you will need for Exchange Server. Focus on the needs of the company over a five-year time period.
                  >>
                  >> Include the higher hardware requirements, licensing, extra staff, third party software (backup, management software, archiving ...) and so on. If cost is a factor for the company, you might be able to win on that.
                  >
                  > I will be doing this obviously, and yes, cost will be a factor, but not a huge/insurmountable one.
                  >
                  > My question has to do with the POLITICAL aspect of this question of what constitutes 'normal' for mid to large(r) companies.

                  In my experience, if the only vector you can argue on is the political one, you will have an Exchange implementation on your hands; 'normal' equals Exchange.

                  The only counter you can really make is the cost/time/simplicity advantages of the F/OSS alternatives. And perhaps these days, the disadvantages of reliance on commercial software that cannot be audited for backdoors and whatnot.

                  Focus on the relevant parameters for your specific situation, and counter based on that.

                  Mvg,
                  Joni
                • Edward Rudd
                  ... You have been lucky where you work then:) The political nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                    On Dec 10, 2013, at 9:49 , Robert Schetterer wrote:

                    Am 10.12.2013 15:42, schrieb Charles Marcus:
                    My question has to do with the POLITICAL aspect of this question of what
                    constitutes 'normal' for mid to large(r) companies.

                    what means political ? such as
                    with closed source you never know about backdoors ?

                    You have been lucky where you work then:)  The "political" nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to switch to Exchange but does the dog and pony show of letting the IT department trial several alternatives (Zimbra, etc.) only to ignore all of the facts that prove Exchange is the only option that doesn't meet any of his criteria and choose it anyway.   So now that company has an Exchange server used by everyone EXCEPT the IT department and the critical web application (which still use the Cyrus + Postfix server).  And the Exchange server has to be rebooted once a month.   And the rest of the employees (including the owner of the company and that one Executive) gripe and complain about how they loath Outlook, but he's the one who wanted it in the first place..     

                    The political aspect is all about irrational non-logical conclusions made by non-IT people in a company.  So you really have to stack the deck proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ROI on Exchange doesn't exist.   Now if they are wanting things like "push" or native Outlook integration.. take a look at z-push, openchange and SOgo. which all run on-top of your existing infrastructure to add those features. (all open source too)

                    Edward Rudd
                    OutOfOrder.cc
                    Skype: outoforder_cc
                    317-674-3296






                  • Charles Marcus
                    ... Exactly. I at least will be insisting on trialing SOGo, as we already have paid for enough support from them to get it fully up and running. But, as I
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                      On 2013-12-10 10:02 AM, Edward Rudd <urkle@...> wrote:
                      You have been lucky where you work then:)  The "political" nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to switch to Exchange but does the dog and pony show of letting the IT department trial several alternatives (Zimbra, etc.) only to ignore all of the facts that prove Exchange is the only option that doesn't meet any of his criteria and choose it anyway.   So now that company has an Exchange server used by everyone EXCEPT the IT department and the critical web application (which still use the Cyrus + Postfix server).  And the Exchange server has to be rebooted once a month.   And the rest of the employees (including the owner of the company and that one Executive) gripe and complain about how they loath Outlook, but he's the one who wanted it in the first place..     

                      The political aspect is all about irrational non-logical conclusions made by non-IT people in a company.  So you really have to stack the deck proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ROI on Exchange doesn't exist.   Now if they are wanting things like "push" or native Outlook integration.. take a look at z-push, openchange and SOgo. which all run on-top of your existing infrastructure to add those features. (all open source too)

                      Exactly.

                      I at least will be insisting on trialing SOGo, as we already have paid for enough support from them to get it fully up and running.

                      But, as I said, the one thing that I may not be able to counter, that I'd like to be able to counter, is the belief that our NOT being on Exchange Server might somehow DECREASE the 'perceived' value of the company, as relates to a potential buyout question.

                      Personally, it seems to me that if company A (that is an all Microsoft/Exchange shop) wants to buy company B, that is not using Exchange (say, uses SOGo, with clients being able to choose between Outlook or Thunderbird for their desktop client), whether or not company B is using Exchange on the backend would be a very minor detail - as company A could always simply migrate company B to Exchange after hey bought them. In fact, it might even make it easier, since, instead of trying to integrate an existing foreign Exchange system into their existing one, they could simply migrate the emails and users into their existing system.

                      --

                      Best regards,

                      Charles
                    • Giles Coochey
                      ... Having worked for a company on Exchange, that got bought out by a company on Notes, that then got bought out by a bigger fish on Exchange I can say that it
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                        On 10/12/2013 15:23, Charles Marcus wrote:
                        On 2013-12-10 10:02 AM, Edward Rudd <urkle@...> wrote:
                        You have been lucky where you work then:)  The "political" nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to switch to Exchange but does the dog and pony show of letting the IT department trial several alternatives (Zimbra, etc.) only to ignore all of the facts that prove Exchange is the only option that doesn't meet any of his criteria and choose it anyway.   So now that company has an Exchange server used by everyone EXCEPT the IT department and the critical web application (which still use the Cyrus + Postfix server).  And the Exchange server has to be rebooted once a month.   And the rest of the employees (including the owner of the company and that one Executive) gripe and complain about how they loath Outlook, but he's the one who wanted it in the first place..     

                        The political aspect is all about irrational non-logical conclusions made by non-IT people in a company.  So you really have to stack the deck proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ROI on Exchange doesn't exist.   Now if they are wanting things like "push" or native Outlook integration.. take a look at z-push, openchange and SOgo. which all run on-top of your existing infrastructure to add those features. (all open source too)

                        Exactly.

                        I at least will be insisting on trialing SOGo, as we already have paid for enough support from them to get it fully up and running.

                        But, as I said, the one thing that I may not be able to counter, that I'd like to be able to counter, is the belief that our NOT being on Exchange Server might somehow DECREASE the 'perceived' value of the company, as relates to a potential buyout question.

                        Personally, it seems to me that if company A (that is an all Microsoft/Exchange shop) wants to buy company B, that is not using Exchange (say, uses SOGo, with clients being able to choose between Outlook or Thunderbird for their desktop client), whether or not company B is using Exchange on the backend would be a very minor detail - as company A could always simply migrate company B to Exchange after hey bought them. In fact, it might even make it easier, since, instead of trying to integrate an existing foreign Exchange system into their existing one, they could simply migrate the emails and users into their existing system.

                        --

                        Best regards,

                        Charles
                        Having worked for a company on Exchange, that got bought out by a company on Notes, that then got bought out by a bigger fish on Exchange I can say that it is a very valid question to ask during the due diligence activities prior to M&A's taking place!!!

                        -- 
                        Regards,
                        
                        Giles Coochey, CCNP, CCNA, CCNAS
                        NetSecSpec Ltd
                        +44 (0) 8444 780677
                        +44 (0) 7983 877438
                        http://www.coochey.net
                        http://www.netsecspec.co.uk
                        giles@...
                        
                      • Charles Marcus
                        ... Meaning? I didn t say it was an invalid question to ask... You disagree with my opinion that being on open source software (that uses a simple IMAP server
                        Message 11 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                          On 2013-12-10 10:28 AM, Giles Coochey <giles@...> wrote:
                          Personally, it seems to me that if company A (that is an all Microsoft/Exchange shop) wants to buy company B, that is not using Exchange (say, uses SOGo, with clients being able to choose between Outlook or Thunderbird for their desktop client), whether or not company B is using Exchange on the backend would be a very minor detail - as company A could always simply migrate company B to Exchange after hey bought them. In fact, it might even make it easier, since, instead of trying to integrate an existing foreign Exchange system into their existing one, they could simply migrate the emails and users into their existing system

                          Having worked for a company on Exchange, that got bought out by a company on Notes, that then got bought out by a bigger fish on Exchange I can say that it is a very valid question to ask during the due diligence activities prior to M&A's taking place!!!

                          Meaning? I didn't say it was an invalid question to ask...

                          You disagree with my opinion that being on open source software (that uses a simple IMAP server like dovecot) for mail access would actually probably be *easier* to merge into their existing Exchange ecosystem than an existing foreign Exchange Server setup?

                          --

                          Best regards,

                          Charles
                        • Ken D'Ambrosio
                          You say mail, but you mention Exchange and Zimbra. If you re just looking for mail, I d recommend Postfix as your MTA, and Dovecot or Cyrus as your
                          Message 12 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                            You say "mail," but you mention "Exchange" and "Zimbra." If you're just
                            looking for mail, I'd recommend Postfix as your MTA, and Dovecot or
                            Cyrus as your IMAP, with a Roundcube web-based front end (and fat
                            clients available for thems that want 'em -- though Roundcube is really
                            pretty awesome: "I'm rinsing in it now."). But, alas, I don't believe
                            there are any full-fledged, viable, open-source solutions that supply
                            Outlook-compliant mail *and* calendaring. If Outlook isn't a
                            dealbreaker -- if you could *just* use it for mail, and use the web for
                            calendaring (and a webmail interface), say -- I'd investigate Horde, or
                            -- just maybe -- Chandler, though I think it's become moribund. Zimbra
                            and its other commercial, Linux-based ilk, have surprised me by not
                            being terribly cost competitive against Exhange. This is really
                            disappointing. There was one project that was well priced and a drop-in
                            replacement, Postpath, but it got acquired by Cisco some time ago, and
                            hasn't been heard from since.

                            $.02,

                            -Ken

                            P.S. Once you make a choice *which* direction you're going in,
                            investigate the options, and make the comparisons. Personally, for me,
                            the big win for open source is the lack of forced upgrades. If you want
                            support for Exchange 2003 -- good luck. Time to ante up $$$$ for that
                            upgrade, both hardware and software. OSS, on the other hand, so long as
                            you're up-to-date with your security patches (and backups), the word
                            "upgrade" should hold much less fear.

                            On 2013-12-10 08:57, Charles Marcus wrote:
                            > Hello,
                            >
                            > There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail
                            > systems to Exchange Server, and I want to try to nip this in the bud
                            > if possible.
                            >
                            > I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of
                            > comparison of mid to large(r) commercial companies use of email
                            > systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs
                            > those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even
                            > commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain
                            > mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.
                            >
                            > I know that many (if they are smart) Admins that do use Exchange
                            > internally will use postfix (or something else *nix based) in front of
                            > it as their relayhost (for both inbound and outbound), so just
                            > counting the number of publicly accessible smtp servers won't be a
                            > good gauge.
                            >
                            > Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been
                            > done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide
                            > such a comparison?
                            >
                            > --
                            >
                            > Best regards,
                            >
                            > _CHARLES_
                          • Charles Marcus
                            ... SOGo is just that... supposedly (we haven t used it yet). According to the SOGo people, Outlook thinks it is talking to an Exchange Server. No Outlook
                            Message 13 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                              On 2013-12-10 10:42 AM, Ken D'Ambrosio <ken@...> wrote:
                              But, alas, I don't believe there are any full-fledged, viable, open-source solutions that supply Outlook-compliant mail *and* calendaring.

                              SOGo is just that... supposedly (we haven't used it yet).

                              According to the SOGo people, Outlook thinks it is talking to an Exchange Server. No Outlook plugin(s) required. And now supposed full remote Outlook support (ie, you can use it at home too).

                              Full support for Shared Calendars *and* Contacts - but no Group Workspace (ie, Sharepoint type service) capability.

                              Personally I hate Outlook, but the ability for each user to be able to choose is huge, in my opinion.

                              --

                              Best regards,

                              Charles
                            • Giles Coochey
                              ... I m not disagreeing with you at all??? Are you looking for an argument?? -- Regards, Giles Coochey, CCNP, CCNA, CCNAS NetSecSpec Ltd +44 (0) 8444 780677
                              Message 14 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                On 10/12/2013 15:36, Charles Marcus wrote:
                                On 2013-12-10 10:28 AM, Giles Coochey <giles@...> wrote:
                                Personally,it seems to me that if company A (that is an all Microsoft/Exchange shop) wants to buy company B, that is not using Exchange (say, uses SOGo, with clients being able to choose between Outlook or Thunderbird for their desktop client), whether or not company B is using Exchange on the backend would be a very minor detail - as company A could always simply migrate company B to Exchange after hey bought them. In fact, it might even make it easier, since, instead of trying to integrate an existing foreign Exchange system into their existing one, they could simply migrate the emails and users into their existing system

                                Havingworked for a company on Exchange, that got bought out by a company on Notes, that then got bought out by a bigger fish on Exchange I can say that it is a very valid question to ask during the due diligence activities prior to M&A's taking place!!!

                                Meaning? I didn't say it was an invalid question to ask...

                                You disagree with my opinion that being on open source software (that uses a simple IMAP server like dovecot) for mail access would actually probably be *easier* to merge into their existing Exchange ecosystem than an existing foreign Exchange Server setup?

                                I'm not disagreeing with you at all??? Are you looking for an argument??
                                -- 
                                Regards,
                                
                                Giles Coochey, CCNP, CCNA, CCNAS
                                NetSecSpec Ltd
                                +44 (0) 8444 780677
                                +44 (0) 7983 877438
                                http://www.coochey.net
                                http://www.netsecspec.co.uk
                                giles@...
                                
                              • moparisthebest
                                Hello, I don t know if you want to go this far as it requires slight customization, but my setup is postfix+postfixadmin+dovecot with owncloud providing
                                Message 15 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                  Hello,

                                  I don't know if you want to go this far as it requires slight
                                  customization, but my setup is postfix+postfixadmin+dovecot with
                                  owncloud providing storage (webdav), calendar (caldav), and contacts
                                  (carddav) as well as a nice web interface if you prefer to use that.
                                  Roundcube provides webmail as an option too. Z-push provides a
                                  completely seamless exchange-compatible front-end to calendar, contacts,
                                  and email. With the right DNS records and web-server aliases, z-push
                                  even passes microsoft's auto-discovery tool checks. I've got them all
                                  integrated to use the same user/pass from the postfixadmin database.

                                  You could even tell people it's exchange and they wouldn't know from the
                                  front-end, and best of all it's all FOSS. I'm not sure if a big
                                  corporation would go for it, but it is an option.

                                  If you want more details or example configs or anything, let me know.

                                  Good luck!
                                  Travis
                                • Miles Fidelman
                                  ... Having recently joined a firm that uses outlook and exchange extensively - I do have to say that the integrated email, calendaring, directory, and task
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                    Charles Marcus wrote:
                                    > On 2013-12-10 10:42 AM, Ken D'Ambrosio <ken@...> wrote:
                                    >> But, alas, I don't believe there are any full-fledged, viable,
                                    >> open-source solutions that supply Outlook-compliant mail *and*
                                    >> calendaring.
                                    >
                                    > SOGo is just that... supposedly (we haven't used it yet).
                                    >
                                    > According to the SOGo people, Outlook thinks it is talking to an
                                    > Exchange Server. No Outlook plugin(s) required. And now supposed full
                                    > remote Outlook support (ie, you can use it at home too).
                                    >
                                    > Full support for Shared Calendars *and* Contacts - but no Group
                                    > Workspace (ie, Sharepoint type service) capability.
                                    >
                                    > Personally I hate Outlook, but the ability for each user to be able to
                                    > choose is huge, in my opinion.
                                    >

                                    Having recently joined a firm that uses outlook and exchange extensively
                                    - I do have to say that the integrated email, calendaring, directory,
                                    and task management is incredibly effective when people use them (as
                                    folks are using them here). So a move to exchange is (or can be)
                                    considerably more than simly changing mail systems.

                                    Miles Fidelman
                                  • John
                                    You have been lucky where you work then:) The political nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                      'You have been lucky where you work then:)  The "political" nature comes in when some Executive @ the company gets it stuck in his head that we *HAVE* to switch to Exchange'
                                      Usually because some marketing shark from M$ has started the FUD campaign by whispered in his ear "do you want people to think your company CAN'T afford Exchange", or "You don't want people to think that your business is not doing so well that you have got the money for xxx" - usually accompanied by subtle hints about the word getting around.
                                      Glad I am retired, because been the too often.
                                      JohnA


                                    • Bron Gondwana
                                      On Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 12:29 AM, Charles Marcus wrote: Hello, There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server. I
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                        On Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 12:29 AM, Charles Marcus wrote:
                                        Hello,
                                         
                                        There has been some whispers about considering migrating our mail systems to Exchange Server. I want to try to nip this in the bud.
                                         
                                        I would like to ask for some help with providing some kind of comparison of large(r) commercial companies use of email systems... specifically, those using Microsoft Exchange Server, vs those using open source Linux/Unix based systems (including even commercial *nix groupware based systems like Zimbra, as well as plain mail systems like dovecot, or cyrus or courier.
                                         
                                        For what it's worth, Cyrus will have caldav and carddav support soon.  There's a beta branch based on the 2.4 release, and it's close to ready to put directly into the master branch too.  We're planning to release a web based calendar client and port our addressbook at FastMail onto it within the next month or so.
                                         
                                        Regards,
                                         
                                        Bron.
                                         
                                        (anyway, aren't more companies just outsourcing entirely these days?)
                                         
                                        --
                                        Bron Gondwana
                                        brong@...
                                         
                                      • Robert Schetterer
                                        ... congratulations, thats cool !!! Best Regards MfG Robert Schetterer -- [*] sys4 AG http://sys4.de, +49 (89) 30 90 46 64 Franziskanerstraße 15, 81669
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                          Am 10.12.2013 21:08, schrieb Bron Gondwana:
                                          > For what it's worth, Cyrus will have caldav and carddav support soon.
                                          > There's a beta branch based on the 2.4 release, and it's close to ready
                                          > to put directly into the master branch too. We're planning to release a
                                          > web based calendar client and port our addressbook at FastMail onto it
                                          > within the next month or so.

                                          congratulations, thats cool !!!


                                          Best Regards
                                          MfG Robert Schetterer

                                          --
                                          [*] sys4 AG

                                          http://sys4.de, +49 (89) 30 90 46 64
                                          Franziskanerstraße 15, 81669 München

                                          Sitz der Gesellschaft: München, Amtsgericht München: HRB 199263
                                          Vorstand: Patrick Ben Koetter, Axel von der Ohe, Marc Schiffbauer
                                          Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender: Florian Kirstein
                                        • Jure Simsic
                                          On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM, Charles Marcus ... for larger deployments. I d say two things are important, in-house experise (if you re a MS shop, you ll
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                            On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM, Charles Marcus <CMarcus@...> wrote:

                                            Hello,
                                            Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide such a comparison?

                                            You'll have a hard time finding any unbiased studies out there, especially for larger deployments. I'd say two things are important, in-house experise (if you're a MS shop, you'll probably feel more comfortable with exchange&co) and TCO. I can hardly claim to be unbiased as we do zimbra integration but we've won quite a few times on the TCO part over xchnge and lotus but the TCO calculation was up to the client. I must say zimbra is fairly low maintainance afterwards, providing it's architecured right. We've done installations for enterprises up to 10k mboxes and consumer up to 300k and there is hardly any serious support issues but your mileage may vary.. And with larger installations getting the TCO is not always easy as some vendors have complicated licensing, you need to take in account the preferred deployment (will it be on VMs, do you already have the infrastructure in place, what about storage - this one is usually the biggest TCO cost, etc). Consider also if you're happy with what you get out-of-the-box or do you need to do some serious integration with other systems, if not provided by vendor, opensource gives you more slack space here..
                                            As the studies go, every vendor will be able to provide you with some but you can guess what they will show =) And in my opinion, all can do the job, what really matters is how you set things up and how much can you afford. I've seen sites with insufficient storage IOPS available and no software can help you there..

                                            Cheers, Jure
                                          • jeffrey j donovan
                                            ... Greetings, I just went through this with a new administrator, who had never used anything but Outlook and exchange. Our mail system is has been based on
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Dec 10, 2013
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                                              On Dec 10, 2013, at 8:57 AM, Charles Marcus <CMarcus@...> wrote:

                                              Does anyone know of any decent non-biased studies that have been done, hopefully relatively recently (last few years), that provide such a comparison?

                                              Greetings,
                                              I just went through this with a new administrator, who had never used anything but Outlook and exchange. Our mail system is has been based on open source since 1995. It has gone through some upgrades , the only cost these days are a drive replacement and initial cost of the server.

                                              exchange server - questions keep popping up, because it's a buz term for email with the bean counters and people in meetings.
                                              we did a cost analysis lets say we VM the whole thing.
                                              VMbox $3k - $5k +
                                              Cost per user , a gut wrenching $165 Plus,  depending upon the features. 
                                              Active Directory required $ License per user just to have an account. in house cost per year was $2,105



                                              The cost to move everyone would be ridiculous , so we went with a pilot for 40 users. For 40 users , we registered a new domain name and sent them to  exchange online, where the total cost was $2,000.

                                              While all along, our current email setup; postfix, amavisd, dovecot, is working fine and costing us nothing.
                                              -j
                                            • Andreas Kasenides
                                              ... I am very interested! Please use my personal email for any hints and configs. I am working on two projects one exactly like you described above (postfix,
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Dec 11, 2013
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                                                On 10-12-2013 18:12, moparisthebest wrote:
                                                > Hello,
                                                >
                                                > I don't know if you want to go this far as it requires slight
                                                > customization, but my setup is postfix+postfixadmin+dovecot with
                                                > owncloud providing storage (webdav), calendar (caldav), and contacts
                                                > (carddav) as well as a nice web interface if you prefer to use that.
                                                > Roundcube provides webmail as an option too. Z-push provides a
                                                > completely seamless exchange-compatible front-end to calendar,
                                                > contacts,
                                                > and email. With the right DNS records and web-server aliases, z-push
                                                > even passes microsoft's auto-discovery tool checks. I've got them all
                                                > integrated to use the same user/pass from the postfixadmin database.
                                                >
                                                > You could even tell people it's exchange and they wouldn't know from
                                                > the
                                                > front-end, and best of all it's all FOSS. I'm not sure if a big
                                                > corporation would go for it, but it is an option.
                                                >
                                                > If you want more details or example configs or anything, let me know.
                                                >
                                                > Good luck!
                                                > Travis


                                                I am very interested! Please use my personal email for any hints and
                                                configs.
                                                I am working on two projects one exactly like you described above
                                                (postfix,
                                                dovecot, roundcube, postfixfadmin) but I have not got to calendaring etc
                                                yet.

                                                The second one is more strict with postfix, dovecot, LDAP (more business
                                                oriented)
                                                but would like to experiment and adapt the calendaring also for Outlook
                                                in there.

                                                For what is worth, after 15+ years, starting with sendmail and migrating
                                                to postfix/dovecot
                                                (as an admin) I would not even consider (non-FOSS) Exchange for a
                                                second. Executives of course
                                                know-it-all-can-do-it-all type always win! That is why I am looking into
                                                retirement the
                                                soonest!!

                                                Thanks
                                                Andreas
                                              • Dominik George
                                                ... Rumor has it that this has been working well even on governmental level. The government of an unnamed country asked their IT department to run an Exchange
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Dec 11, 2013
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                                                  >> You could even tell people it's exchange and they wouldn't know from
                                                  >> the
                                                  >> front-end, and best of all it's all FOSS. I'm not sure if a big
                                                  >> corporation would go for it, but it is an option.

                                                  Rumor has it that this has been working well even on governmental level.

                                                  The government of an unnamed country asked their IT department to run an Exchange server as their groupware, and they decided that it sucks and now use z-push instead. I think the government never noticed ;).

                                                  I cannot name my source, but it is reliable because it has been patching z-push for them to make it work :D.

                                                  -nik
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