steven_geerts Wed, 06/17/2009 - 20:39


We use several. We have Exchange for our employee mailboxes, Domino for some (Domino) application mailboxes and have finished today a migration from @mail/AtMail to Sendmail (+Ldap) for our customer mailboxes (this is mainly a web application that our customers use for their financial stuff, it includes a messaging function to get in contact with our advisors. this is based on IMAP)

Maybe some background info is useful, what kind of messaging infra are you supporting and willing to replace.
If you are a company with mainly employee mailboxes you most likely have benefit from the collaboration and other functions (like calendar sharing) offered by Exchange and Domino. If you are an ISP you might be better off with (for instance) @mail or Sendmail.
If you are in the last category, you must get your demands clear. @mail for instance offers a great webmail interface, but the hardware they are delivering is not quite enterprise class. On the other hand, the price of those devices is quite attractive. If you want a (supported) enterprise class IMAP/POP solution I think Sendmail (the commercial guys from is your friend. You have to bring some money to the company to get their product but, its state-of-the-art with very good support. (I heard a story of an ISP that combines the power of the Sendmail IMAP systems with the beautiful webmail application of @mail... of course that is possible too) :lol:
If you do not want to spend too much money on licenses, support etc. you can always consider to run your mail system on open source software. If you consider this please think of the possibility that you might end up in a problematic situation where you really want to have some support (within a short amount of time). Will that be possible for the product of your choice?
Another consideration: if you choose for applicances like the @mail systems or the Sendmail Sentrions (and of course Ironport), you have one single point of support. Your one supplier is responsible for hardware repairs but also (more important I think) for solving software problems. I use to have the experience that if you are in a real problem with (e.g.) a Solaris system running a third party mail server, the supplier of your mail software is pushing in the Solaris direction (this is an OS problem, not related to our software) and the guys from Sun are pushing to the mail product supplier (your mail product is possibly not utilizing our software API’s as it should do). Getting it all from the same supplier completely solves this issue so you can directly start finding a solution for your problem. (it’s your hardware, OS and software so please solve my problem)

Hope this helps.

PS: we replaced the @mail systems by Sendmail devices mainly for the following reasons:
1) The hardware has failed to much and was not equipped well enough to survive the basic problems like PSU failure (only one PSU is present in the systems with no possibility to add a second one)

2) The support in Europe for @mail is not as good we wanted it to be. (Although the guys really did the best they could, having an ocean in between can be really a problem)

3) We started to use commercial Sendmail products in our routing infrastructure and are very happy with the support the deliver. (The only problem is that the Sendmail sales guys are pushing to replace our Ironport DMZ systems by their stuff.. something we definitely do not want since we are convinced that Ironport is doing a much better job in the field of spam protection that Sendmail can possibly do. We prefer to have the best possible product for every function we have in our infrastructure.)

mychrislo_ironport Thu, 06/18/2009 - 04:46

Hi Steven,

It's always nice to read your replies in the forum as it is enlightening and you share your experience in great depth.

I have a few "mail services" that under different cost center.

One of the largest is ISP carrier grade. Perfectly fine, and perflectly capable. Only problem is that it's been a few years. And upgrade (or replace) to other product will soon be necessary.

The other mail services we maintain are for smaller corporates. We use OSS sendmail, we use qmail+ldap, we make them work with CLAMAV too. We can integrate w/ ironport.

Over the time, these mail services require upgrade and maintenance, but internal support are fading away. I am looking for simplified or applicance based solutions that leverage lengthly setup and maintenance effort. Once in a while, there are _trivial_ problems that less experienced staff cannot address effectively.

And of course, the new solutions have to be cost-effective. :lol: :lol:



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