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Eriq Neale

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What follows is a feature request that I recognize will take some time to accomplish, but it's an important change that will be almost required to get Kerio Connect into certain markets.

The Connect web services and ActiveSync services, currently being handled via the Kerio service running on a Windows-based machine, conflict with other HTTPS services provided by IIS if Connect is installed on a server running IIS. A new product from Microsoft, Windows Small Business Server codenamed "Aurora", will be released sometime in the next 12 months, and is going to make an ideal platform for Connect to be installed on for the smaller (under 25 employee) SMB shop. Aurora provides a number of great features for the small office, and when combined with a local install of Connect will be a great solution for those businesses who want their e-mail in house.

But because a number of the widely-used features of Aurora (TS-Gateway, Remote Web Workplace, etc.) are all provided over HTTPS through IIS, running Connect on the same box means we have to work around IIS to deliver both services. While this is relatively easily done by assigning a second IP to the server and tying Connect to one IP and IIS to another, not all businesses in this space are going to have network hardware that will support multiple external IPs or ISP accounts with multiple static IPs. Since users are going to want to access the Microsoft services in IIS from off-site as well as accessing webmail and activesync services from Kerio from off-site as well, there really needs to be a way for Connect to deliver its web services through IIS instead of through your internal web services engine.

Even using Windows Server 2008 Foundation or standard Windows Server 2008 to host Kerio, a lot of people are looking at providing web services on the same box as where we would be putting Connect, and in many small business scenarios, the notion of putting one server in can be a challenge, much less multiple.

While this would be a significant change in design from the Mac and Linux Connect tools, it's one that I believe is important for Connect to really take off in the Microsoft world, which is where I have most of my customers. If I'm not able to easily or affordably get Connect installed on an Aurora box, or another box with TS-Gateway, I'm going to have to fall back on either the full SBS product with built-in Exchange or go with a hosted e-mail solution, which limits the options I can present to my customers.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of this design issue.

-Eriq
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rinzwind

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If you pay for SBS you get Exchange...
Kerio Connect is suited on its own Windows server standard or Linux box (phyisical or virtual).
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Eriq Neale

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Ah, but that's not the point. I'm specifically looking at alternatives to SBS for cost and other reasons. But I really want to be able to offer TS-Gateway (as just one example) for a customer for ease of remote access, but then it becomes more difficult to put Kerio Connect on the same box. Not impossible, just more difficult.

There are a LOT of MS partners who are going to be looking at Kerio Connect over the next year to bundle with other MS server products, and if Connect were able to integrate into IIS, it would pretty much be a done deal for the vast majority of those partners. The more complex the workaround to get Connect and IIS-based solutions on the same box, the less likely MS partners will look at Kerio as a solution.

-Eriq
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sbsfaq

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Eriq,

I can't agree more with you. The functionality that exists right now in things like Windows Vail (new Home Server), and the upcoming SBS Aurora build are things that need to work in unision with Connect. If Kerio can pull this off then they will see a marked increase in sales and use on these products once Vail and Aurora become public. I think the challenge is for some, they can't see the potential because they've not yet gotten their hands on Aurora... that will change soon... and then there eyes will be openned.

So - how bout it Kerio... are you up for the challenge? Want to increase your sales and penetration into the SMB space for those clients not willing to move their mail to the cloud? Smile

Keen to see others input on this thread too.

Wayne
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elias

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I've seen references here in the forums where people seem to have achieved this using mod_proxy in Apache on Linux boxes. I'm sure you can find an ISAPI filter or HTTP Module/Handler that does something similar. I did a quick search and came across Helicon Ape which from quick glance, seems to support mod_proxy. They also have a blog post about it which may be helpful as well.

I haven't used this product and don't know if it works or how well it works, but finding a solution like this is probably much more realistic than Kerio modifying their server for IIS.

-Elias
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