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Reliable alternatives to Exchange Server 2003

Posted on 2005-03-17
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We have a company of 15 users and I was nominated to research alternatives for groupware: Shared contacts, tasks, calendar.

Email server in the future.

Currently the machines in the office are all windows xp/2000, also we have a Server 2000, a Back office server 4.0 and a linux redhat 8.0.

Given that in the next 6 months we may have an email server.
1.  What is the best solution (low maintenance) without the constraint of money?
2.  What is the best bang for the buck solution?


Alternatives that I am looking at now:
Exchange server 2003, Groupwise 6.5, and a temp groupware solution from http://www.officecalendar.com/ but it is still $1300.
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Question by:ongbak
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LVL 34

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PsiCop earned 1200 total points
ID: 13570721
GroupWise is an excellent choice for many reasons, but chief among them is that it is platform-independent. You can run it on Red Hat as well as Windoze. This gives you CHOICES...something you can be sure you'll never get from Redmond.

Also look at OpenExchange --> http://www.suse.com/us/business/products/openexchange/

Altho I don't think its any cheaper than Exchange itself, at least not in terms of licensing costs.

Remember that GroupWise, like most Novell products, is licensed PER USER. That means there are generally no per-server charges. You pay for X seats, and it doesn't matter if you run the software on 1 CPU or 4, on one physical server box or 10. So, no CALs, and no per-server licensing charges,
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Assisted Solution

by:ben-mathews
ben-mathews earned 400 total points
ID: 13571750
You can find a number of servers listed here:

http://www.emailman.com/unix/servers.html
http://www.emailman.com/win/servers.html
http://www.emailman.com/java/index.html
http://www.emailman.com/web/servers.html

One of them is bound to meet your needs. I use GroupWise at work and find that it does most everything I need, and over all, it is cheaper then Exchange.
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:sciwriter
sciwriter earned 400 total points
ID: 13572096
Almost any SIMPLE choice is better than exchange server -- hell, it's designed for thousands of users, not 15-20 -- so it is an overkill, and it comes back to bite you with silly things, like scrapping the outlook settings, wiping out access to mail, all kinds of niggling headaches that might be worth it for a big corp depending on this M$ SW for hundreds of users -- but for 15 or even 25, I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole.

Since webservers use linux for bullet-proof reliable SMTP/POP mail servers, why don't you do the same?  It is perfect for your needs, it takes only ONE setup -- and a most you have to flush the mail caches and reboot the server about every month or two -- and that's ALL you have to do, it works and works and works.  Also, all the resources you need come on the Linux server installation -- all free, no cost, no hassle.  Linux for mail, for sure.
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Author Comment

by:ongbak
ID: 13576255
Thanks for the responses I am evaluating them in more detail now.
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