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Reliable e-mail for Bulldogs

Sep 09, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* How the University of Georgia upgraded its messaging system

The University of Georgia recently migrated its messaging system to Mirapoint. Here’s a summary of what the school went through.

UGA previously had a homegrown messaging solution running on AIX that proved not as reliable as the university needed it to be to support the tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff. Consequently, the university started looking for a better product that would provide better reliability with low maintenance. The university formed a committee of IT directors and others to evaluate alternatives from a variety of vendors. Armed only with reports from consulting companies and a list of requirements, the committee formed a focus group consisting of members from different departments to evaluate the products, while a tech group conducted evaluations.

UGA used a variety of criteria to evaluate various systems. Two systems were ruled out because of concerns over reliability and cost, while two other systems were excluded because they would have required the university to build large clusters of computers, something the IT staff did not want to do. The university favored appliance-based offerings that provided an integrated package for all of the messaging functionality.

UGA finally settled on Mirapoint because it offered an appliance, and because its costs appeared favorable, compared to the previous system. UGA has not yet revisited the costs of both systems through any sort of detailed analysis, but plans to do so again in the next six to 12 months.

The UGA migration is interesting from a couple of perspectives. First, it points out that the cost of a messaging system, if it’s at least roughly comparable to competitive systems, will often not be nearly as critical a decision factor as reliability, even among cost-conscious customers. Secondly, the appliance form factor is very important for a large segment of the messaging market.

I’d like to hear from e-mail administrators who have had experience managing both appliance-based and traditional server-based messaging products to understand how you view management of both types of systems. What advantages and disadvantages are there to both form factors? Please drop me a line at