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Switching to a mainstream alternative

Mar 25, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* One organization's experience of migrating to an alternative messaging system

There’s a lot of talk about decreasing the cost of messaging by migrating to an alternative messaging system.  Here’s an example of a large, geographically-disperse group owner of television stations that did just that back in 2000.

“[We] migrated our 2,500 users from Novell GroupWise to an open-source based messaging solution.  We implemented a Red Hat Linux-based messaging server running Sendmail, IMAP and LDAP.  We deployed Netscape Communicator’s client on the desktop (and have since migrated to the open-source Mozilla browser and mail client).  This single server replaced 45 separate GroupWise post offices, each on the local station’s Novell 4.11 server.

“What made the migration so easy was GroupWise’s support of IMAP. We just configured Netscape to look at the GroupWise post office as well as the new Linux server and users could drag their mail from one IMAP store (GroupWise) into another (Linux IMAP). Messaging sped up…and Web access became far easier, using IMP Webmail with LDAP authentication.

“We have since leveraged the LDAP database, making it the cornerstone of our company’s intranet, including a custom-written electronic procurement system to generate purchase orders and track money spent.  We added in the open-source SpamAssassin anti-spam software, filtering through procmail rules for the users who choose to have their mail filtered.  The single Linux server continues to serve us well and shows no sign of being burdened by the load of what is now 3,100 mailboxes. We have yet to pay a license fee for the software we use, as we did with GroupWise and we have far more granular control of the system’s operation.”

Many thanks to the individual who contributed this.

Correction: In a previous newsletter, I incorrectly listed the price of Mirapoint’s Message Server. The price of the product starts at around $15,000, which includes an e-mail server and security solution.  Mirapoint’s e-mail security appliances, Message Director and RazorGate, start at $25,000 and $12,500, respectively.