Linux server/ Email Solution OPINIONS???

Hello All,
           I am curious if I could get some input on something.  Our company is looking to purchase a new email server and system.  WE have pricing on all the new microsoft goodies (server 2003 and exchange 2003 package)  the problem is its very costly and I have read alot about how Linux can save companies money in this area.  

SO i'm asking for ANY help in making the right choice here.  Basically We need a server OS and email system that would integrate nicely (cheaply would help too) into out current system

Our current email system runs NT4 with exchange 5.5.  In our network we have our domain server running NT4 with 3 other NT application servers and a win2000 SQL server.  

Is there a linux solution first of all that would fit into this system without causing MAJOR problems?  If so what Linux OS is recommended (redhat Suse?))

Seoncdly What kind of email systems are out there for linux.  we currently have about 54 email boxes.  Our users all use Outlook to access their mail.  Not sure if there is a linux system that works nicely with outlook or not.  It would be nice.  Only other MANDATORY application we NEED would be the web access for our email so our sales managers in the field can get their email too.

Thirdly please remember I am new to linux and have really never used it so it would need to be somewhat easy at first although I assume I could catch on?

ANY and ALL suggestions are welcome!
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paullamhkgConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well they all gave you very good suggest actually.

for Licensing, if you can take some time to study/config you can keep a no cost in the OS/software/appication (not include your download band width since you already pay for it), just download the OS (linux) there is many choice you can thinking of have a check here, most of the linux disctro may already include the mail application, take RedHat as example, it has the sendmail included, have a check here
But many people don't like it, so someone will go for qmail have a check both here : and

Now you have your OS and mail application, you may also need the web base mail application you can thinking of squirrelmail or openmail, have a check here and

those above you can said are free, the cost will be the hardware and download time and band width, also the IT admin time to setup/learn/config.
I can perhaps give a few useful bits of info:
Linux comes in a lot of distributions. I use RedHat. Any distribution should be able to be set up as a "server O/S".
You can use either Sendmail or Postfix as mail server (both are included in the distro's).
POP3 and IMAP services are also included, both of which work with Outlook and any other proper mail client.

There are also a lot of packages available "out there" to install on a Linux machine that are dedicated mail solutions, including web mail access functionality. Many are open source, too, which of course will mean less $$ to shell out.

For the number of clients you mention, I'd say you could set up a system costing only labour and hardware, using free software. You'd have to be catching up on Linux a bit, of course.

Sendmail is confusing to learn, and is not for those new to Linux.  It is a fairly straightforward tool once you get it running, however, so if you want to use it, you could go with something like the following setup that I have.  It is only what I use and I am not advocating that it is better than any other solution, but it is very stable:

Redhat linux
Sendmail - base mail server
qpopper - for POP3 mail access
Openwebmail - for remote, web browser mail
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We have about 50 users and 40 email boxes and we use this OS

Here to download it...

Forums are very helpful...

We have no downtime (only when we add hardware of course ;-)

It is based on Redhat and uses a unique template system which is easy to get on with, also there are a number of excellent add-ons that are available under the GPL license.

Has qmail as MTA and Horde as Webmail if you decide to enable it, also has easily integrated web-interface.

Overall its cheap and has alot to offer.


Do you mind if I ask how much the MS server 2003 would cost - approximately.

MS sells licenses in lots of 50 - is that right?
rox5488Author Commented:
They will sell licensing in 25 and 50 i believe.  Not positive though.  In actuallity i THINK you can get it in 5, 10, 25, and 50.  But again i'm not positive.

In any case the LICENSING ... JUST licensing is in the neighborhood of $5200 up front  (for the server and exchange both)

And if you get software assurance is another $2300 the next 2 years.  

This is for 50 cals
My organization converted to LINUX Redhat 7.2 replacing an NT server
It replaced email, PDC, sharing , domain login, and firewall the whole
provate network.

Works great.
best answer I know of that would be like exchange, and even lets your outlook clients share calendaring and contacts is: Bynari

We are currently using it as an Exchange Alternative:  Oldest server has been up for over 340 days without reboot with 60 users.

Brandon Waite
Certified Professionals, Inc.
"Your Choice For All Your IT Needs"
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