Linked by David Adams on Thu 28th Aug 2008 17:51 UTC, submitted by stonyandcher
Features, Office Everyone knows that Microsoft Exchange is expensive - but ubiquitous " and plenty of open source projects and vendors have been trying a variety of technical approaches to replace it. While none is yet a drop-in replacement, a PC World article looks at ways that some administrators can get a cost advantage by switching.
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My answer is a no.
by ronnyek on Thu 28th Aug 2008 18:05 UTC
ronnyek
Member since:
2008-08-28

its an unfortunate state of affairs with open source etc.

I know some bright person will suggest zimbra, I am about to suggest why you WOULDNT want to use zimbra. (Please note I've run tons of zimbra servers in production for a couple years, so I do have plenty of experience)

1) web ui is sluggish and slow, and the "desktop" client is an entire webapp server distribution etc. WAY WAY hefty.

2) Its built on common unix mailers and packages etc (yeah I guess it could be a positive and a negative, however I consider it mostly a negative)

3) Licensing and pricing is f--king out of control.

4) Configs, startup scripts are fragile as hell, and the server would eat resources until ultimately it'd stop accepting connections.

5) Load balancing, Backup procedures etc are assinine, even for the commercially supported version.

I think most of my complaints are more so how unix developers tend to approach problems... than the actual server itself. I invested a TON TON TON of time migrating some 8000 odd accounts and 3000 domains, and I've got to say, I'll never touch it again. Ever.

Reply Score: 11

RE: My answer is a no.
by Soulbender on Thu 28th Aug 2008 18:53 in reply to "My answer is a no."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

My answer is a "yes and no. It depends".

1) web ui is sluggish and slow, and the "desktop" client is an entire webapp server distribution etc. WAY WAY hefty.


It's not sluggish. Maybe it was previously but the 5.x series is not. The desktop client is a dog though but that's why you have the Outlook plugin.

2) Its built on common unix mailers and packages etc (yeah I guess it could be a positive and a negative, however I consider it mostly a negative)


I consider this irrelevant as long as it works.

3) Licensing and pricing is f--king out of control.


I dont know where you got your licenses but we dont have that problem. Not that I know what you mean by "fscking out of control".

4) Configs, startup scripts are fragile as hell, and the server would eat resources until ultimately it'd stop accepting connections.[q]

Again, I dont know what you're on about. Fragile? Never had that problem. Eat resources? Maybe, but don't tell me Exchange doesn't.

[q]5) Load balancing, Backup procedures etc are assinine, even for the commercially supported version.


I dont know why you put load balancing and backup in the same point but whatever. Never had any problem with the backup procedure being asinine.
Never used the load blanacing so I cant say anything about that.

than the actual server itself. I invested a TON TON TON of time migrating some 8000 odd accounts and 3000 domains


I'm pretty sure migrating 8000 accounts and 3000 domains is a pain no matter what system you migrate to and from. It sure isn't a breeze in Exchange.

Edited 2008-08-28 18:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: My answer is a no.
by DrillSgt on Thu 28th Aug 2008 20:31 in reply to "RE: My answer is a no."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"I dont know where you got your licenses but we dont have that problem. Not that I know what you mean by "fscking out of control"."

Well, they probably got the licenses from Zimbra.com

http://www.zimbra.com/products/pricing.html

For the life of the product it becomes more expensive then MS Exchange.

http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/howtobuy/default.mspx

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: My answer is a no.
by Liquidator on Fri 29th Aug 2008 07:18 in reply to "My answer is a no."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

1) web ui is sluggish and slow, and the "desktop" client is an entire webapp server distribution etc. WAY WAY hefty.


I have to agree. The web client is damn slow, even on a "normal" computer. It's almost unusable.

4) Configs, startup scripts are fragile as hell, and the server would eat resources until ultimately it'd stop accepting connections.


Same problem here. It uses huge amounts of resources.

When I see people recommend Zimbra, I wonder if they even used it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: My answer is a no.
by Soulbender on Fri 29th Aug 2008 11:07 in reply to "RE: My answer is a no."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

When I see people saying the web client is damn slow and near unusable I wonder if they even used it.
I and almost everyone else here use it every day and damn slow and unusable it is not.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: My answer is a no.
by voidlogic on Fri 29th Aug 2008 13:49 in reply to "My answer is a no."
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

>1) web ui is sluggish and slow, and the "desktop" client is an entire webapp server distribution etc. WAY WAY hefty.



>2) Its built on common unix mailers and packages etc (yeah I guess it could be a positive and a negative, however I consider it mostly a negative)

You must be refering to the use of postfix, the more modern, faster, easy-to-administer, and secure alternative to sendmail. I think postfix is a far better than MTA functionality of exchange. There is the added advantage that any scripts I had for postfix can be used with Zimbra.


>3) Licensing and pricing is f--king out of control.

This seems like FUD to me, I have seem the pricing they offered a local school for the network ed. (comes with 24/7 support) and it was very good.
You are forgetting it is opensource, my company pays nothing. Since each member of the zimbra stack (which are by no means exotic), as well zimbra itself have large communites, the organization with a competent UNIX staff does not necessarily require the network ed.

>4) Configs, startup scripts are fragile as hell, and the server would eat resources until ultimately it'd stop accepting connections.

I have found the setup robust and have never seen this kind of problems on my servers, so I am inclined to consider user(-admin) error as a factor here.

>5) Load balancing, Backup procedures etc are assinine, even for the commercially supported version.

I wrote my own backup solution for the community ed. so I can't comment on that. But in my experience a zimbra server can handle many times the load of an exchange server.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: My answer is a no.
by zombie process on Fri 29th Aug 2008 14:39 in reply to "RE: My answer is a no."
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

Can you imagine what managing postfix is like for someone who has been a windows jockey their entire career? It's no surprise at all to me that exchange admins wouldn't care for it. I'll admit that I worked on sendmail for years before ever touching postfix, and do find postfix to be a better alternative for security and scalability, but I have yes to see/understand the "easier to manage" aspects of it. As far as I'm concerned, both are equally as confusing. And yes, I'm down and dirty on the CLI with vim, not using some gui frontend for either.

Edited 2008-08-29 14:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2