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10k Email Accounts Needed - Need advice!

I have been approached about possibly setting up an email server to host anywhere up to 10,000 accounts, with a possibility of moving up to 40,000 accounts.  All of these accounts would be provided to our clients on a temporary basis (3-6 months), and would only have like 2MB storage alloted to each of them.  We are looking to have this be used primarily as a POP server, though there is interest in having clients access their accounts through the webmail interface.

I am having trouble finding any documentation from MS stating what kind of hardware/software would be required for an install of this size.  I would assume that these kinds of numbers would require a license for Exchange Enterprise Edition, but please let me know if I am incorrect there.  I would also assume that it would only make sense to have at least a front and back end server configuration to scan for spam and viruses and such as well as to separate the processing load for such activities.

Basically, I am in the basic information gathering phase of this project, and would love any links or opinions that you might have on this topic.  Also, if you know of another email server platform (something Windows based preferably) that you think would work better here, I would like to know it also.  Thanks!
4 Solutions
If you just want POP3, then Exchange is an overkill. 40,000 CALs for Exchange and Windows will be very expensive as well.
Now I am in the UK, but if we go by the usual US$ = UK£ IT pricing, you would probably be looking at $40,000 for the CALs alone, which is before you get to hardware.
2mb accounts is only 80gb, so a single server would actually do the job on pure storage capabilities, but you would be looking at spreading that out - probably 20,000 per server.  

Or to put it another way - I wouldn't do it with Exchange.

Instead I would be looking at one of the advanced POP3 servers. If you want to stick to Windows based, then something like SmarterMail, Imail etc. Something that will run on Windows 2003 Web Edition, so that you get round the CAL requirements.

The option would be to go to open source and then use something like Squirrel Mail to provide the interface.

Stacy SpearPresident/Principal ConsultantCommented:
I concur, a Linux server (better yet servers) could handle this at a fraction of the cost. Especially considering the short life time of this. What would you do with all the CALS later? Not much.
Rent a server from VERIO/NTT  and install Merak mail server (it's very cheap and powerful) and use the  macro's software to configuere accounts with in few min's.

Take a look at Mdaemon www.altn.com, i've always found it a great solution for POP3 and it has web access.....

Also gives you a free trial if you want to evaluate!
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