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Why use Exchange instead of a SMTP/POP3 based solution like MDeamon or Kerio for Windows?


This question is to help me out on a meeting i will have soon to dispute the idea of continuing to have exchange on our working environment or move to a webmail or even a SMT/POP3 based solution.

From your experience, i basically need to know why you prefer exchange and why you prefer SMT/POP3 systems. If you are lucky enough o have a vast amount of knowledge on both great put your point forward.

I work on a major telcom company called UNITEL in Angola with 250 users and growing, our corporate email servers are exchange and needless to say headaches happen everyday, i come from an ISP provider where everything was easy linux and SMTP/POP3 systems we had 550 thousand customers on our systems and glitches where almost rare to say the least.

I cannot move to Linux but i can dispute the idea of having to pay massive amount of money for exchange and not using all its potential because the company only wants to have email delivered and webmail access, so why i ask is important to continue to use exchange.

points to take into consideration: Security, Mail recovery, Remote access, mail storage.
other info; we dont use GAL neither the NNTP or Replication to other server we have a central server where everybody connects to, and i would like to avoid adding more exchange servers becoming cumbersome the management of these systems and their backups.

The way i see it the users will still be able to use Outlook has a client; Symantec will be the preferred SMTP firewall and AntiSpam solution i will buy the appliance and not the software.
Access is global no need to install VPN clients and less software for the laptops = less glitches, office email can be achived via either the simple Google or Hotmail systems and users when they need to move PCs it will be a breeze, plus with the thin client arriving soon i belive i am on the right path.

Prove me wrong please.

Thanks for taking your time to answer this and points will be awarded in percentages regarding the info shared.

2 Solutions
I always tell my clients if you do not want to share your Outlook data, go with the cheaper POP3.  If you don't share mailboxes, calendars or contacts then I would get Exchange out of there.

Personally as an IT professional I like to have my clients email at my fingertips.  I hate relying on a third party to resolve issues.  I also like that I have a full backup of the entire company email.

one thing your users might miss after moving to POP is the global address list.  
hope this helps you in your meeting.
My experiences with Mdaemon are that it is a very robust product.  I have lost count of how many of my clients use Mdaemon, admittedly none is the size you are talking about (the biggest is 50 mailboxes).  In some instances I have managed to convinced clients to move from Exchange to Mdaemon.  The reason I use Mdaemon is that it is a low-maintenance program, adding users is easy and logs can be pulled off where there is an issue with sending or receiving.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
What version of Exchange are you running?
You mention that Symantec is your Anti-Virus / Anti-Spam solution - which products specifically are you using?
What sort of daily problems do you face with Exchange?
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Mcgurupro2Author Commented:
Let me try to reply in parts:

  • First, absremote:
We don't use GAL (Global Address List), Sharing Mailboxes we might have 1 or 2 users nothing to big or to worry about, I will not be using a third party, i will still control the mails but instead of the Exchange environment i will have something similar to MDeamon or Kerio, MDeamon ofr example also shares contacts and meetings if you set up the outlook connector for it.

  • Second, moorhouselondon:
I am interested in recovery and security with MDeamon, encryption levels and remote access and if you had or are not aware of any security breaches. How long are you using MDeamon for and what is their support capabilities and shit hits the fan.

  • Third, alanhardisty:
Version 2003 SP2, we want to move to a 2007 environment but this is where the fight will come in from my side against the MS fanatics.

Right now CISCO appliances is the firewall solution and there is a third party for the SPAM, i want to bring both to Symantec Appliance solution or at least the SPAM i used it before and it works great.

I would be exaggerating if i said daily but i just don't believe in exchange and if it is not for sharing mailboxes and NNTP or GAL usages, i think it is a system where the recovery of it and backing it up just amount to the daily administrator workload. We don't even have servers outside our city, we have 250 offices in country but a central server for the capital only, and they want to expand the server farm and i juts see all my problems in the past coming back to life,

eg: Replication headaches, Mailbox moves failures, recovery of mailboxes on a 128k link, some remote users which has a slow connection needing to use a PST and if the PC crashes all his emails are gone, most of this problems will go away instantly if we simply move to a SMTP/POP3 solution and other issues like mail routing problems between routing groups and link redundancy. Usage of the Offline folder file is not an option either because of LInk issues.

In Angola the biggest link is the national link reaching 10GB to the outside world, the national links are all V-SAT ranging from 64K to 1MB. Some fibber links to the 2nd and 3rd major cities can reach up to 8GB but this is only 2 locations out of 26 states we have, 90% of the connectivity still be done by V-SAT and C-Band only, KU Band is not used for the Telecommunication yet due to the sensitivity to weather conditions.

Hope this helps

Recovery: It is very easy to recover from say a failing hard drive - messages are held in individual files in a standard message format.  Reinstalling onto another pc - note the word "pc", Mdaemon is not too fussy about the hardware it runs on.

Security: Mdaemon is well-locked down against things like relaying, the settings in the program have descriptions in many of the options pointing out any security-threatening issues.

I have been using Mdaemon since the days when it was marketed by Deerfield.  Not sure what version that was, but it's many years now.

Support is first class.  In UK we have Zen Software - so long as maintenance cover is up to date then the support staff will, if necessary, remote into the mail server and talk you through problems you're having.  The phone gets answered promptly by a person too.

The shit has never hit the fan: never had a crisis which has been due to Mdaemon, or where Mdaemon has been the bottleneck.  Thing you have to bear in mind with Mail Servers that have Gb of messages stored on them is how do you get up and running again quickly in the event of a big problem?  And I mean minutes rather than hours or days.  Because the workings of Mdaemon are not buried deep into the system it's easy to install Mdaemon on another pc and get working again *immediately* and to migrate historic stuff across whilst running live (yes I've done this many times when hardware has decided to take an extended lie down).  With Exchange how quickly can the average business source hardware which will enable a full recovery to be undertaken?
Mcgurupro2Author Commented:

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