Running an email server - Linux vs. Outlook

OK so I love Linux. Linux is great.

Now I was talking to a consultant about email for a website. He said there's only three types of email: Google, Office 365 and maybe if you know what you're doing Outlook.

Now I am thinking about what he told me and I am thinking about setting up a mail server. Just to put it on my IT cred (I'm a student).

Is it completely 'stupid crap' to run Linux for an email server?

I've avoided running Windows servers to current - is this a good opportunity to run a Windows server?
burnedfacelessAsked:
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Scott SilvaNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I started my company into the world of email with self built linux mailservers. Later I added spam filters, security upgrades and even webmail... It is a good thing to know, and you can do it so reasonable that you can consult for small non profits and still make some income...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There are more systems than just those three. All my clients outsource Outlook and do not even need their own server.

If you wish to avoid Windows, then you restrict your usefulness in the working world.
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burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
I am starting a LLC this year to do web dev and hosting.

My goal (as we all have manic goals) is to start a C Corp.

In this C Corp our company policy will be to change SSH keys and PGP keys by the business quarter (and every intra company email will be PGP encrypted).

I will be damned if the Russians the GUBBERMENT or 15 year old 1337 hackers are able to retrieve an email past the previous business quarter.

How does Outlook stack up in security vs. Linux?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Modern Outlook on a modern Exchange Server is well secured. Microsoft has been paying attention to security for a few years now.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you and good luck in your work
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
Well at least gmail uses linux....
then there are lots of others:
iRedMail
ClearOS
Zimbra
OX (open Xchange)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Outlook is not a mail server.  It's a client application that works with Mail Servers.  Exchange is a mail server.  Outlook has been designed to work EXTREMELY WELL and EXTREMELY SECURELY with Exchange as it's mail server.  It can use Linux based servers but some of the capabilities of Outlook (which rely on Exchange) will not be available.

If you are a linux expert and intend on hiring linux experts, then go for it.  There's nothing wrong with the system or it's capabilities.  There are potentially more third party extensions and enhancements to Outlook than linux based systems, but if you know what you're doing, then go for it.

If you're selling to an audience, study your audience and know what they want, what their pain points are, and provide them a solution using what you feel is the best tools and technologies possible.

Good luck.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
@Lee W, MVP, even on Linux there is a capable server that can offer the same as Exchange, look for OpenExchange.
And there are that offer a lot of different options.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'm aware of the options available on Exchange.  There's a reason they are not dominant in the market.  Third party imitations work as well as they can work... but they are imitations.  For many they are fine.  But invariably there's at least one thing that doesn't work or doesn't work well. SOOOO many people think because there's a license fee it must be bad.  And if it's open source it must be good.  Licensing does not dictate quality.  There's excellent open source software and crap open source software.  Excellent non-open source software and crap non-open source software.  OpenOffice is great... and for basic use, 80% of people could probably use it without concern.  But 20% would find quirks and issues that make it unusable for them.

My point to Exchange vs. Linux based mail services is that there's plenty of people who can get by with Linux based mail services and not care.  But some folks know about and want certain features that are only (as close to) perfected in Exchange.  If you don't mind losing them, go Linux.  If they are part of your main market segment, you'd be a fool to go Linux.
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burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
Lee can you write some of those features?

I've decided to run a Windows server and a Linux server and use them both until I know what I am doing.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Unfortunately not. I speak based on prior (at this point YEARS ago) comparison attempts.  And while I have no doubt that linux based competing products have improved, Microsoft has introduced new features in Exchange as well.  As I said, 80% (and full disclosure, that's a guess on my part based on my interactions with others over the years) will find no functional difference between the two products... but 20% almost certainly will.

Examples (though not with Exchange) Samba took 12 years to gain domain functionality and when it did, it was (is) still limited to 2003 class DCs.  And that's with recent help from Microsoft.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
AFAIK   Exchange still can't handle DKIM f.e. (at least that what a friend tells me, and that why he also need a secure gateway as well as exchange...) Personaly  i don't use exchange, outlook.
And i agree OpenOffice is usable like word 2003 is usable. LibreOffice has improved a lot after Oracle dropped OpenOffice.
But this Q is not about office.
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