Have Exchange use the Linux mail system as an upstream server, and have all mail received by Exchange via Imap or pop.
Upside: Least amount of client configuration needed. Exchange not interacting with the Internet.
Downside: Exchange 5.5's MTA is problematic, but if you lived with it before, it will be no different. Exchange 5.5 mailboxes will hold all the users mail, same corruption issues Exchange 5.5 users always had to deal with.
Setup pop mail accounts on all clients and have Outlook pull all the mail down from the Linux mail server, sending mail will use the Linux SMTP mail server.
Upside: All Internet mail handled by Linux mail system, less mail handling by Exchange. Exchange not interacting with the Internet.
Downside: Exchange 5.5 mailboxes will hold all the users mail, same corruption issues Exchange 5.5 users always had to deal with. Outlook clients will need Internet email accounts in addition to Exchange.
Setup Imap accounts on Outlook (version 2002 and above). Sending mail will use the Linux SMTP mail server. Create a public address book in Exchange of all office users with the Linux SMTP server account addresses. Make it available as an email address book on all clients. Set the Imap account as the default, remove the Global Address Book and the Recipients from the address books in Outlook. Set the public addressbook that you created earlier as the default.
Upside: All Internet mail handled by Linux mail system. Mailboxes all handled by Cyrus. Eases future migration. Stability of Exchange increases.
Downside: Outlook clients will need Internet email accounts in addition to Exchange. Configuration of Outlook clients address books.
I recommend the expert option because it relieves Exchange of the stress that user mailboxes and mail handling impose. Exchange becomes a public address book and shared calendar system. This makes Exchange extremely stable. I have one system that ran 8 months before a reboot, for Exchange 5.5 that is nearly a miracle. Another reason I recommend the following option is that is eases migration away from Exchange, since Imap becomes the default mail handling system. Kolab2 with Outlook plugins can replace Exchange when the time comes.
Microsoft Exchange 5.5 covers what many businesses need. Most companies don't enjoy being forced into an upgrade, especially when there is no reason other than monetary gain for the software vendor. The procedure outlined in this article will allow companies to run NT4/Exchange 5.5 as long as they want. Since NT4 and Exchange are no longer accessing the Internet, they are essentially sandboxed. By removing unnecessary services and utilizing a properly configured firewall, you can run a secure NT4/Exchange environment. If Kolab2 is used, then there is a path away from Exchange, whenever your organization is ready. This procedure will help free your organization from forced upgrades, and eventually allow an it to free itself from all controlling software companies.
I'd like to thank Erfrakon for designing the Kolab architecture and Intevation GmbH for their contributions to the Kolab project. I'd also like to thank everyone who contributes to Open Source and Free software.Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft Windows NT, Exchange 5.5, and Outlook are all registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. VMware Workstation is a registered trademark of VMware, an EMC Company.
About the Author:
My name is Alex Chejlyk. I've owned and operated a small business that performs IT tasks for other small businesses in the area, since 1994. I've been computing since the early 80's, started out with CPM then to DOS, LANtastic, Windows 2.x, Apple, OS2, Windows 3.x, Be, Windows NT/9x/2K/Xp, Unix, and Linux.
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