Scalix introduces Linux alternative to Exchange

* Scalix’s e-mail platform runs on Linux and works with Outlook

Last week, Scalix announced a Linux-based e-mail and calendaring platform, which consists of Scalix Server, Scalix Web Access and Scalix Connect for Microsoft Outlook. The software is targeted at users that require (or at least desire) a very highly reliable messaging platform.

Scalix’s goal is to leverage Linux to make e-mail as reliable as the telephone.

The Scalix team consists of former executives from the Lotus cc:Mail and HP OpenMail teams, as well as individuals from Microsoft and other companies. In fact, OpenMail is the foundation on which the Scalix architecture has been built.

Scalix is not marketing its platform as a “rip-and-replace” alternative to other messaging systems. Instead, its target market consists of cost-sensitive enterprise companies that are experiencing sub-par reliability with their current messaging systems and that are already on a migration path toward Linux for other enterprise systems.

The primary value proposition for Scalix is the company’s claim of dramatically lower initial and operating costs. For example, in a 10,000-seat environment over a three-year period, Scalix claims that its upfront costs are 43% lower than for Microsoft Exchange 2000, and that its ongoing costs are 54% lower.

Scalix claims that its system has demonstrated 99.999% availability, and that it can scale to hundreds of thousands of users.

Scalix Connect for Microsoft Outlook is a key component of the new Scalix offering, allowing enterprises to maintain an existing desktop infrastructure of Outlook and its messaging services, including e-mail, calendaring, public folders, and so forth.

Based on its methodology, expertise and other factors, Scalix claims that an organization can achieve a “frictionless” migration when implementing its platform. The Scalix platform is designed to integrate with a wide variety of antivirus, antispam, backup, storage management and network management tools, as well as a variety of enterprise applications.

On one level, the Scalix offering is a competitive threat to Exchange because it allows Exchange servers to be replaced and consolidated while leaving the Outlook infrastructure at the desktop largely unaffected. On another level, however, the Scalix offering is aimed at enterprise firms already migrating toward Linux anyway, and so should have relatively little impact on the Exchange customer base that is going to remain on Windows.

I’d like to get your thoughts on Scalix and offerings of this type, particularly if you manage a large messaging system. Please drop me a line at mailto:michael@ostermanresearch.com

Learn more about this topic

Scalix’s press release

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