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BobH

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We've been running Kerio Connect on a Windows 2003 Dell 1850 PowerEdge server since 2005. We have about 100 users and we're running version 8.1.1. Since Dell doesn't offer hardware support on this server any more, it's time to replace it.

I checked the current Kerio Connect hardware requirements and I'm trying figure out what's my most cost effective alternative. A quad-core PC running Windows 7 with 8 GB of RAM and RAID1 would be a lot less expensive than a single processor server running 2008 with 8 GB of RAM with RAID1. Which one would have better performance or would they be pretty much the same?

Any insights into this would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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BudDurland

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Very good x86 servers can be had for not much money. I wouldn't try to run a production mail server for that many users on Win7 on commodity hardware, unless you shop very carefully. For example, make sure the RAID 1 is in hardware, not software. Most motherboards with "on-board RAID" are a software implementation in the driver, and recovery from a failed drive can be tedious and tricky. Also, I'd think twice about not using a true server OS.

Once you've reconciled that in your conscience, the single most important place to spend money is the disk sub-system, especially if your users are using the OutLook connector. Use 15K disks, preferably SAS.

That said, on our next server refresh, I will probably convert to Linux.

Good is better than evil because it's nicer
--Mammy Yokum
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BobH

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When budgets are tight as ticks, you have to consider things you'd prefer not to. Your points all make sense.

You say disk subsystem speed is top priority. Would RAM be next with processor last?
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MarkK

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Remember, if you use a 32bit OS, it is pretty much limited to 3GB of memory. You might want to consider moving 64bit OS to take advantage of the larger memory option for both the OS and 64bit Kerio. Kerio's 64bit program does require either Win Server 2008R2 or Win Server 2012; it will not run on other 64bit versions of Windows.

Seems to me, priorities are Disk speed, Disk speed, Good amount of memory, a good processor, and more Disk speed.

My older Xeon quad core 2.33GHz never really tops out on the processor. Disk access, on the other hand, gets close.

Just a personal thought, I have often thought about getting away from running it on Windows and switching over to Linux, to avoid the Windows licensing fee.
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MarkK

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P.S. There are also 64bit Linux versions of Kerio.
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barup

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IMO I would go for the fastest storage I can affort, memory is cheap and any modern xeon processor will do the job.

regards
Lars
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BobH

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I'm getting the message - fast disk system first and foremost.

Anything I get now will run circles around our old server so I'll be declared a hero no matter what. We use Dell so I'm thinking a 1U server that supports hot-swap, hardware RAID10 with 15K SAS 6GB disks, single processor, and 16 GB RAM.

Thanks.
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hberm001

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Get server hardware and free yourself from licensing fees by putting something like centos 64bit on there. We run kerio 64bit on centos 64bit and everything works. Also, look at your options for including SSDs in the system.
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BobH

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I have considered taking an old server and installing a Linux-variant on it and experiment with it. A very long time ago, I had an RS6000 running AIX I was responsible for. I could do basic stuff on it but was no expert.

I don't think I'd want to try it out on a production Keriomail server though.

This might be my opportunity when I retire this server.

Thanks.
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MarkK

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Is your 64bit CentOS accessing an MS Active Directory domain? Just wondering how well that works.
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hberm001

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MarkK wrote on Thu, 19 September 2013 22:54
Is your 64bit CentOS accessing an MS Active Directory domain? Just wondering how well that works.

Yes, we actually use a mixed authentication environment where only some of the users authenticate against active directory and the rest are using kerio internal auth. There's decent kerio documentation for hooking up the linux server to the active directory (kerberos) and after that you simply administer your users from the web administration.

Oh and activesync works absolutely flawlessly as well (including autodiscover)
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MarkK

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Interesting. I would love to avoid the MS server licensing costs for this. I need to setup a test server to see how that would all work for us.
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