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jpokinpo

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Our small-sized office of approx. 50 user accounts have run Imail for approx. five years now. Unfortunately, Ipswitch seem to have shot themselves in the foot with the latest 2006 release. I am one of those seeking another solution.

Our Hardware & OS:
We will purchase new server or workstation hardware with configuration as powerful as necessary. OS to be Win XP pro or 2003 server as necessary. HDs to be large SATAs with hardware RAID.

Absolute requirements:
1. ***Most requested feature*** Groupware - mainly for public contacts and email folders. We run a separate calendar server.
2. Rock-solid performance or close to it.
3. Approx. 30 IMAP users and about 20 POP3.
4. Webmail access for all with sync'd contacts and mail folders.

Questions:
1. We intent to use the KOC. I need your opinion on reliability and speed based on our number of IMAP users. HONEST RESPONSE PLEASE.
2. Any recommendation on minimum or ideal hardware configuration?
3. IMHO, kerio's antispam capabilities are not as flexible/effective as Imail. Hence, any recommendation on an uncomplicated third party solution?

Thanks.

[Updated on: Fri, 17 November 2006 16:05]

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century21thomas

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jpokinpo wrote on Fri, 17 November 2006 10:02


1. We intent to use the KOC. I need your opinion on reliability and speed based on our number of IMAP users. HONEST RESPONSE PLEASE.



In my experience, the KOC works great if you have under 2000 items in any particular folder. Once a given Outlook folder gets more items than this in it, access times are atrocious. It seemed particularly bad for the users who liked to have lots (30-50) of subfolders. I tried to make sure my KOC users were archiving frequently, but I received so many complaints that I had to switch some of them back to POP3. When users are used to local PST access speeds, being able to setup as many nested folders as they need, and being able to keep way too many messages in their Sent Item or Inbox folders, it's difficult to convince them to accept the scenario below.

1. Open Microsoft Outlook
2. Left Click the Inbox
3. Wait 5 to 15 seconds for the folder to load
4. Left Click the Sent Items folder
5. Wait 5 to 15 seconds for the folder to load

Until Kerio implements what is being called the KOC Offline/Caching mode, I think this lag is unavoidable. Some people were so upset with the performance difference that I'll have a difficult time convincing them to give it another chance once Kerio releases the KOC Offline/Caching mode.

It's my fault for not asking the right questions when I purchased the software, though. I didn't know enough about how MS Exchange and other groupware e-mail packages work to ask whether or not Kerio's software utilized any local caching to speed up the KOC. Overall, I've been satisfied with the Kerio MailServer product, though. I'll be very satisfied once the KOC Offline/Caching mode is released.

Cameron
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jpokinpo

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Cameron,
Thanks - just the kind of input I am seeking. I will keep this in mind.

If speed issues develop, I will have to consider a scheme to force archiving or simply convert those affected to POP3 until a reliable KOC offline is developed.

[Updated on: Fri, 17 November 2006 18:30]

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Kerio_ktrumbull

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Some of the things that century21thomas mentioned have been addressed in the 6.3.0 release. Some performance improvements have helped to improve the KOC speed a bit.

Kevin Trumbull
Kerio Technical Support Team Leader
http://support.kerio.com
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Pavel Dobry (Kerio)

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century21thomas wrote on Fri, 17 November 2006 18:15



1. Open Microsoft Outlook
2. Left Click the Inbox
3. Wait 5 to 15 seconds for the folder to load
4. Left Click the Sent Items folder
5. Wait 5 to 15 seconds for the folder to load

Until Kerio implements what is being called the KOC Offline/Caching mode, I think this lag is unavoidable.
Cameron


I would like to comment this. KOC does have caching for message list in folders. This significantly increases speed if the folder is opened next time. I have about 35 folders in my account with more than 65000 messages (2.6GB). Some folders have more than 11000 messages. First access to such folder takes about 2-4 seconds, every next access is about 1 second.

Overall Outlook speed is influenced by many factors (mainly server speed, client speed and network throughput). Significant are also other Outlook add-ins and plug-ins that may slow it down. It may also vary with different Outlook versions.

This is my personal experience.
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jpokinpo

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Ok - thanks for the comments guys.
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rleslie

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Just wanted to put my two cents in. My company recently made the switch to Kerio from Imail. Having worked for a large company a few years ago that used Microsoft Exchange, I really deplored Imail and was looking for an alternative. I tried to load their new version of Imail on a test machine and had all sorts of problems.

In any case, I considered Exchange but because of the licensing costs as well as the fact that exchange did not really fit my company's topology (we have about 14 small offices scattered around through the US, only one of which is connected via frame circuit), i began looking for exchange alternatives. I tested about 4 or 5 and finally decided on Kerio, it was the most cost effective and seemed to perform the best out of the ones i've tried.

We've now been with kerio for about 7 months and i don't regret it. It is tons better than Imail. It's not exchange so it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of exchange. Here is a rundown of some of the pros and cons of Kerio.

pros

1)public folders and contacts
2)KOC (outlook connector) can mimick exchange and you can have all your items on the server
3)all email is stored in individual files instead of one big file like imail and exchange, so there is less chance of mailbox corruption

cons
1)public folders and contacts can't be managed from the management console (you have to manage them from a mailbox that has admin rights)
2)when you remove a user it doesn't delete their contact, you have to go in and manually delete the contact (same for mailing lists)
3)KOC doesn't have offline access, so remote users are better put on pop3 or webmail. (or thunderbird's imap).

Overall though, Kerio is a stable platform. And i do believe that some of the cons i stated above are being worked on, such as the offline/caching of KOC. Plus the costs of Kerio is extremely reasonable and it's very simple to set up.

ok..that's my two cents















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tpalmer

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Kerio_pdobry wrote on Fri, 17 November 2006 18:51



I would like to comment this. KOC does have caching for message list in folders. This significantly increases speed if the folder is opened next time. I have about 35 folders in my account with more than 65000 messages (2.6GB). Some folders have more than 11000 messages. First access to such folder takes about 2-4 seconds, every next access is about 1 second.



Is this new in 6.3.0, or are you saying it has always been there? I have significant performance problems with KOC users who have very large message counts (4k+) in their Inbox, Sent Items and Deleted Items. If there are attachments involved, it gets worse. I'm upgrading to 6.3.0 this coming weekend, and was also going to write a script to move mail out of these kinds of large count boxes to new, less used folders. Maybe I don't have to?

Oh, and its not clear from the original poster - you know KOC is a MAPI plugin that translates to IMAP, its not normal IMAP, right?

I'm a happy 150-ish user OSX shop, mostly KOC. Besides offline mode and KOC performance, my main wish list item is body search everywhere (KOC, webmail). Stability has been good, and getting better (wasn't so good a year or so ago). Support is almost always quick and excellent. Spam controls could be more polished (more GUI control over custom rules, table of rule hits, domain level controls) but overall things are good, and again, improvements continue to come in.

Kerio 6.2.3, OSX 10.3.9, XServe G5 4G RAM, SATA mailstore drive. Moving to Kerio 6.3.0, OSX 10.4.8, RAID 1+0 Fiber Channel attached drives this weekend.
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willowsv

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KOC has a long way to go before its perfect but its slowly getting there.

there's still a host of things and improvements that need to be made.

Other than that KMS on the whole is reasonably reliable I cant say ive had too many problems and web mail is pretty good.
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sgreer

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I am also using an older version of iMail, but it's time to upgrade so I am considering other options. I have questions about performance as related to bandwidth requirements. Although it has been clearly stated that several factors influence the user experience, are there any hard numbers as to how much network bandwith the different clients use? I ran across this person's estimation of use, but that was before Kerio 6.3 was released.

bandwidth requirements [message #38987]
In my company, 60 simultaneous Webmail users use in total on average about 75-100 Kbits/sec, peaking to 800 Kbits/sec. These are 30 second averages, so actual peaks are a lot higher.

Would you say that these approximations of use are accurate? According to this person's view bandwidth for KOC is twice that of Webmail, do you agree? Also I am guessing that IMAP is significantly faster than both.

I am looking to deploy Kerio with approximately 250 users. However roughly 1/4 of the users are in remote locations, linked here by 768kbps or T1 lines.
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