[Sysadmins] suggestions for (moderately) large mail server setup

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at gmail.com
Tue Nov 17 16:10:38 GMT 2009


Hi,

among my current tasks at the moment is a mail server upgrade.  I'm looking
for advice, suggestions, experiences, links to reviews or whatever.

We have until now been using a very early version of Kolab which, though it
had some wrinkles, has broadly met requirements up to now.  It basically
integrates Cyrus, Postfix and OpenLDAP with a PHP management front-end.
We want to provide shared calendaring now and ideally shared contacts.
We've a webmail frontend in place (Roundcube) which is up for review too.
We're looking at 500-1000 users.

There are a lot of options.  I'd like to think I can separate the decision
on the back-end from that of the front-end but that's only true to a
limited degree.  Our users use a mixture of Outlook, Thunderbird and
Webmail for their email clients.  All of those should play (relatively)
well with any mail server.  Options for the email back-end seem to include:

 - Kolab2 (openldap, postfix, cyrus)
 - A la carte... ($IMAP + $SMTP + OpenLDAP)
 - Apple XServer (openldap, dovecot, calendarserver, squirrelmail)
 - Exchange (we've more experience of and prefer administering Linux and are
   fans of interoperability so this is not high on the list but never say
   never...)

Calendaring isn't quite so standardised yet and not every web-based
mail/calendaring solution seems to work with every server.  Calendar
servers include:
	http://caldav.calconnect.org/implementations/servers.html

CardDAV seems to be a way to do shared contacts, though perhaps not so well
developed as yet.

	http://carddav.calconnect.org/implementations/servers.html

There are quite a number of web front-ends (Horde, eGroupware,
Squirrelmail, Roundcube, OpenGroupware, ScalableOgo,...) which can be
bolted onto all of this and some of the backends come with a front-end.

If anyone has the perfect CalDAV/CardDav/IMAP/Webmail/... setup that does
everything you ever want without being a pain in other ways I'd dearly love
to hear about it :-)

Sorry for the long email.  All ideas appreciated.

Gavin




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