Windows 2k vs. Sun Solaris 8 / Free BSD hardware requirements

Posted on 2004-08-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I am looking for some recommended hardware requirements to set up a mail server for a small company 100  - 250 users. We will probably stick with a Windows solution but I need to provide several alternatives for cost justification purposes. have found the minimum requirements to install the OS but I need recommendations that are not a push to sell more hardware. All the sales reps I have spoke with want to sell the latest hardware they have. Any links to useful sites would be helpful.

OS packages
Windows 2K
Sun Solaris 8
Free BSD 4.7


Question by:slc426
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

PsiCop earned 250 total points
ID: 11873916
Well, I'd reconsider your pre-selection of the Windoze platform. By basing your E-Mail services on a *NIX (e.g. Solaris x86, FreeBSD, Linux) you make it instantly invulnerable to the legions of Windoze malware out there. You'll find that the hardware requirements for *NIXes tend to be 1/2 to 1/3rd of the hardware requirements of a similar Windoze environment.

Using *NIX, you could easily deliver mail services to 100-250 people with a couple of old Pentiums (200-500MHz) running sendmail (unlimited users, no licensing cost) and an IMAP (the IMAP daemon from PINE, Cyrus IMAP, whatever). The main issue is disk space and making sure the server(s) have sufficient amounts. The hardware can be as redundant as you want - those issues are driven by the business-criticality of your E-mail system and your budget.

You could implement RBLs (built-in to sendmail, 5 free services on the 'Net), anti-spam (using the *free* packages MIMEdefang and SpamAssassin) and anti-virus (using the open-source CLAM-AV). Your costs remain primarily hardware, with very low or non-existent software costs.

The clients would access their E-Mail using *any* IMAP-compliant client rather than being limited to one from M$. That means they could use Netscape, Eudora, Thunderbird, GroupWise, PC PINE...all of which are relatively immune to the unending host of Outlook viruses. Or, if you're an exceptionally cruel person, you could stick the user's with Outlook.

The point here has been that if cost is an issue, you can probably implement your entire E-Mail system on hardware you already have in house that can't handle the porky slothfulness of Windoze, but will do fine with the lean and trim of *NIX. So there's probably no need to invest in hardware, or if you do, it'll be for modest disk and/or memory upgrades to existing machines. And you don't get stuck with the rapacious licensing costs and draconian licensing terms of Redmond's dubious warez (a CAL for Exchange *and* the server? geez...)
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 11876068
Yeah, you're asking for something that you'll just not find: a Justification for microsoft.

Everything about windows is bloated to keep hardware demand up - Talk to anybody that's reverse engineered a microsoft application and they'll tell you how useless their "code re-use" is.

I know you, as millions of others in the world, are affraid and unfamilliar with *nix environments but see it this way.
Your company could use the money its saving on its mailservers to train you up in everything *nix with the next refit meaning they can switch their backend completely to open-source software saving them even more.

And at the end of the day there are a billion and one linux experts on here who you can ask for help from ;)

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