Installation easier on Unix servers

 We installed each product according to the manufacturer's directions. Where both Unix and Windows were supported as the base server operating system, we chose to use RedHat Linux 5 (RHEL5). If the product only supported Windows, we used Windows 2008 server.

We installed each product according to the manufacturer's directions. Where both Unix and Windows were supported as the base server operating system, we chose to use RedHat Linux 5 (RHEL5). If the product only supported Windows, we used Windows 2008 server.

Surprisingly, the Unix mail servers were all easier to install than the Windows ones!

The four Unix-compatible servers, Communigate Pro, Kerio MailServer, Scalix Enterprise Edition and Zimbra Collaboration Suite all fit into our standard RedHat system quickly and simply, with minimal confusion.

In contrast, MDaemon, Alt-N's Windows-only tool, showed up without an installation manual and three anonymously named applications, leaving us confused about the order to install them or what to do once the three applications were installed. We eventually found an incomplete installation guide, contributed by a third party, posted on the MDaemon knowledge base.

We had an even worse experience with MailSite Fusion as it wouldn't completely install on our Windows server (technical support eventually identified this as a bug and gave us a workaround).

Usually we don't focus on installation in tests like this, but this was worth calling out because it shows the maturity of the Unix software marketplace. Until recently, installation of commercial applications on Unix operating systems was generally more difficult and required more expertise than comparable applications on Windows platforms.

With this test, it is becoming clear that the complexity of Windows 2008 is getting in the way of its use as an application server, while the simplicity and maturity of distributions such as RedHat Linux has progressed to the point where you don't have to be a Unix guru just to get applications installed.

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