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Bob Johnston

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I was researching KMS a few months ago, just as v6.0.3 was released, then
our company wanted to look at Novell GroupWise. That has been dropped, now
I'm back looking at KMS.

What are general thoughts on KMS running on a Mac server?

Do Mac and Windows clients running Entourage and Outlook work well?

Overall thoughts on stability, issues, speed, etc. would be appreciated.

Thanks...
--
Bob Johnston



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geabaldyvx

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I've been running KMS since 6.0.4.

There are a few bumps in the road, that's for sure. However, look at the liniage of this product and what has changed. Replacing Exchange isn't an easy task and Kerio has managed to get you about 80% or further there.

I am the only Mac guy in the company everything else is Win2k on the desktop. I run one Novell Server in each of my 5 branches, and 9 Linux Servers doing various tasks, one of which is my Email server. I can't say how well KMS runs on OSX but it is a tank on Linux. I have been very pleased overall with it's stability and usability.

Webmail is Slow, but plenty fast enough for my users, well most of them. The Outlook Connector is just about useless if you have users who carry 2000+ messages in their box, and need offline access to email. Entourage just simply works. I have had zero issues with it and I am currently pushing 10k emails in my box, lord only knows what nightmare Outlook would have.

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tfranks

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When we decided to drop exchange, but stick with Outlook and Entourage, we went through several testing platforms with both Windows and Linux servers.

Sorry for the long post...

Currently, we are using KMS 6.0.7 for 25 Outlook and Entourage clients. The server machine is a dual Xeon Windows XP machine with hardware RAID... seems like a hefty machine for 25 users... We run Outlook 2002, XP, 2003, and Entourage X and 2004. Our email and groupware requirements are modest. We are certainly a small business looking to be 'progressive' and capable, but on a budget and with minor IT support.

We migrated from a Windows Small Business Server 2000 (which has Exchange 2000).

After a fair bit of wrangling on both the server and at user workstations, things are working pretty well, this past week. There are odd things, mostly with views, sorting, calendar bugs, etc, but for the most part, calendaring, tasks, mail, etc. work just as before. Entourage actually works when you set up an Exchange type account and point it to KMS... wow.. this never happended with Exchange 2000.

And this was the point for us... everyone here has been using Outlook and Entourage for ages and it's a pretty swell client. The inertia of moving to another client is not what we wanted to undertake... it was the SERVER that was our problem... whether this was/is a valid assement on our part or not.

Originally, we tested KMS on a Dual G4 macintosh. Installation and functionality was just dandy and we were very excited. The Macintosh worked great and so easy to deal with.

Migration from Exchange 2000 was a chore. No two ways about it... we were helped greatly by the kerio migration tool for Exchange, but there was still a fair bit of manual moving, comparing, verifying, etc... the migration tool would stop working in the middle of the process and this led us to move thing over manually... The migration tool probably would have worked better, but our Exchange box was hobbling and not performing.

What helped greatly during the migration, was that you could have the Exchange store and the Kerio store available at the same time... this allowed for a lot of drag-n-drop, and it mostly worked too...

The combination of the migration tool and manually moving things over, took us a week... again, 25 users with approximately 8 GB of combined mail and other.

As you may have read, the update from v 6.0.6. to 6.0.7 brought about a lot of failures with the server and Outlook... we certainly had those as well... this was not pleasant, but things got back to working after reading other messages on this forum, etc. This is not a small point, i.e. a major failure after updating the software, but it was certainly manageable.

Our biggest heartache was moving KMS from our Macintosh box to our Windows box... I contacted Kerio and asked about the method to properly do this... following THEIR instructions, we installed the server software onto the Windows box and then moved the required store folder to the new server... Things did not go well. KMS crashed and kept crashing. We were 'warned' by Kerio tech support that a cross-platform migration would not work very well and we should expect problems (gee thanks), but also, you read on Kerio's materials, about how things are cross-platform and all you need to do is move over the a few configuration files and the mail store... I was happy to read this from them, but it was certainly not the case for us...

After about a day of crashing and looking at posts on this forum, etc., we finally came up with a method to make things work... It was a matter of deleting files and/or providing 'blank' files for KMS to use and rebuild it's indexes, caches, etc. It seems to me, Kerio tech support could have suggested such a thing... like, "Oh, you need to either delete all the index.fld, status.fld, etc. files to have the server rebuild the store..." You read about such things all over this forum, about how to rebuild corrupt folders, etc... anyway.

Anyway, things are fine now, and we are happy with how the server is performing... and we look forward to the impending version, 6.1. We hope that an upgrade will not break the server...

You should stop reading now, but you don't have to...

Previous to KMS, we tried a linux solution based on the open-source project, OpenGroupware and the outlook connector for use with OpenGroupware, named, Zidelook. This is a very compelling project and I hope they make the product successful. The server software is free, however to use it with Outlook as if it 'were' an Exchange server, you have to purchase the Zidelook connector at substantial costs.

We paid for a bunch of lincenses on recommendation of our consultants, but it just wasn't a good idea... the native interface for OpenGroupware is a web interface, and it is good, but we needed to have Outlook/Entourage functionality... poor us... if we were to dump Outlook/Entourge... I would seriously consider the OpenGroupware product... since we want to use Outlook/Entourage, the Zidelook plugin for use with OpenGroupware, was just not doing it... it is expensive and not a complete connector for Outlook. For instance, it has no mail component and only connects calendar, tasks, and contact objects.

Also, we tried Stalker's Communigate Pro Server. We were very happy with most everything about this solution, except for the price in comparison to KMS, the really poor web client, and adminstration was too complex, overly complex for a company our size trying to manage our own server.

We will certainly revisit Stalker's solution in the coming years...

In the meantime, Kerio is the sweet-spot for us... it's affordable, has enough features, is easy to manage... just right for our size. Now that we are free of Exchange, we feel much more comfortable with examing other server and client solutions... we feel liberated!
  •  
vandalen

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What are you user requirements and # of emails?
  •  
Bob Johnston

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Thanks, very good info. Just curious, what was the reason for switching from
the Mac DP G4 to XP?
--
Bob Johnston


> From: tfranks <franks<_at_>mcmarchitects.com>
> Organization: Kerio
> Reply-To: <kms<_at_>forum.kerio.com>
> Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 14:26:52 -0800
> To: <kms<_at_>forum.kerio.com>
> Subject: [kms] Re: KMS - General Thoughts?
>
>
> When we decided to drop exchange, but stick with Outlook and Entourage, we
> went through several testing platforms with both Windows and Linux servers.
>
> Sorry for the long post...
>
> Currently, we are using KMS 6.0.7 for 25 Outlook and Entourage clients. The
> server machine is a dual Xeon Windows XP machine with hardware RAID... seems
> like a hefty machine for 25 users... We run Outlook 2002, XP, 2003, and
> Entourage X and 2004. Our email and groupware requirements are modest. We are
> certainly a small business looking to be 'progressive' and capable, but on a
> budget and with minor IT support.
>
> We migrated from a Windows Small Business Server 2000 (which has Exchange
> 2000).
>
> After a fair bit of wrangling on both the server and at user workstations,
> things are working pretty well, this past week. There are odd things, mostly
> with views, sorting, calendar bugs, etc, but for the most part, calendaring,
> tasks, mail, etc. work just as before. Entourage actually works when you set
> up an Exchange type account and point it to KMS... wow.. this never happended
> with Exchange 2000.
>
> And this was the point for us... everyone here has been using Outlook and
> Entourage for ages and it's a pretty swell client. The inertia of moving to
> another client is not what we wanted to undertake... it was the SERVER that
> was our problem... whether this was/is a valid assement on our part or not.
>
> Originally, we tested KMS on a Dual G4 macintosh. Installation and
> functionality was just dandy and we were very excited. The Macintosh worked
> great and so easy to deal with.
>
> Migration from Exchange 2000 was a chore. No two ways about it... we were
> helped greatly by the kerio migration tool for Exchange, but there was still a
> fair bit of manual moving, comparing, verifying, etc... the migration tool
> would stop working in the middle of the process and this led us to move thing
> over manually... The migration tool probably would have worked better, but our
> Exchange box was hobbling and not performing.
>
> What helped greatly during the migration, was that you could have the Exchange
> store and the Kerio store available at the same time... this allowed for a lot
> of drag-n-drop, and it mostly worked too...
>
> The combination of the migration tool and manually moving things over, took us
> a week... again, 25 users with approximately 8 GB of combined mail and other.
>
> As you may have read, the update from v 6.0.6. to 6.0.7 brought about a lot of
> failures with the server and Outlook... we certainly had those as well... this
> was not pleasant, but things got back to working after reading other messages
> on this forum, etc. This is not a small point, i.e. a major failure after
> updating the software, but it was certainly manageable.
>
> Our biggest heartache was moving KMS from our Macintosh box to our Windows
> box... I contacted Kerio and asked about the method to properly do this...
> following THEIR instructions, we installed the server software onto the
> Windows box and then moved the required store folder to the new server...
> Things did not go well. KMS crashed and kept crashing. We were 'warned' by
> Kerio tech support that a cross-platform migration would not work very well
> and we should expect problems (gee thanks), but also, you read on Kerio's
> materials, about how things are cross-platform and all you need to do is move
> over the a few configuration files and the mail store... I was happy to read
> this from them, but it was certainly not the case for us...
>
> After about a day of crashing and looking at posts on this forum, etc., we
> finally came up with a method to make things work... It was a matter of
> deleting files and/or providing 'blank' files for KMS to use and rebuild it's
> indexes, caches, etc. It seems to me, Kerio tech support could have suggested
> such a thing... like, "Oh, you need to either delete all the index.fld,
> status.fld, etc. files to have the server rebuild the store..." You read about
> such things all over this forum, about how to rebuild corrupt folders, etc...
> anyway.
>
> Anyway, things are fine now, and we are happy with how the server is
> performing... and we look forward to the impending version, 6.1. We hope that
> an upgrade will not break the server...
>
> You should stop reading now, but you don't have to...
>
> Previous to KMS, we tried a linux solution based on the open-source project,
> OpenGroupware and the outlook connector for use with OpenGroupware, named,
> Zidelook. This is a very compelling project and I hope they make the product
> successful. The server software is free, however to use it with Outlook as if
> it 'were' an Exchange server, you have to purchase the Zidelook connector at
> substantial costs.
>
> We paid for a bunch of lincenses on recommendation of our consultants, but it
> just wasn't a good idea... the native interface for OpenGroupware is a web
> interface, and it is good, but we needed to have Outlook/Entourage
> functionality... poor us... if we were to dump Outlook/Entourge... I would
> seriously consider the OpenGroupware product... since we want to use
> Outlook/Entourage, the Zidelook plugin for use with OpenGroupware, was just
> not doing it... it is expensive and not a complete connector for Outlook. For
> instance, it has no mail component and only connects calendar, tasks, and
> contact objects.
>
> Also, we tried Stalker's Communigate Pro Server. We were very happy with most
> everything about this solution, except for the price in comparison to KMS, the
> really poor web client, and adminstration was too complex, overly complex for
> a company our size trying to manage our own server.
>
> We will certainly revisit Stalker's solution in the coming years...
>
> In the meantime, Kerio is the sweet-spot for us... it's affordable, has enough
> features, is easy to manage... just right for our size. Now that we are free
> of Exchange, we feel much more comfortable with examing other server and
> client solutions... we feel liberated!
>
>




  •  
Bob Johnston

Messages: 44
Karma: 1
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I have one domain with about 120 users. Number of emails? Don't know
exactly, but I would guess that 4000-5000 messages per day are received and
sent.
--
Bob Johnston

> From: vandalen <jan<_at_>windmilltechnology.com>
> Organization: Kerio
> Reply-To: <kms<_at_>forum.kerio.com>
> Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 19:20:43 -0500
> To: <kms<_at_>forum.kerio.com>
> Subject: [kms] Re: KMS - General Thoughts?
>
>
> What are you user requirements and # of emails?
>
>




  •  
tfranks

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Why XP versus OS X? It was simply a matter of us purchasing a new box specifically for the purposes of replacing our Exchange server.

As we approached researching and testing the options, the Intel based PC allowed us to test as many Windows and Linux solutions as we could. At the time, we didn't feel buying a new Macintosh or using one we already owned, would give us as many options.

The XP box, for better or worse with a lot of things turned off and/or removed, runs great. I think it works and performs perfectly well for the number of users and our message load. It is a monster machine, though...

The G4 ran perfectly well, but we did notice the lag that many have commented upon when you have a mail folder with a large number of messages. For instance, clicking on a folder (for the first time during a session) with more than a few hundred messages, would give an unpleasant delay. Again, we are 25 users...

I don't know how the G4 and KMS would perform with 100 users with normal or above normal messages. From what has been written in this forum, it seems this performance issue is 'to be' addressed with the impending release of 6.1. It seems a lot of people whom have been using previous versions have seen serious declines in performance with the 6.x version... if so, I hope Kerio ramps up performance.

Again, we are running a small number of users on 10K rpm hardware RAID, dual-Xeon, 2 GB RAM... etc.... so I would hope performance would be acceptable, and it is.

Since after all the testing, we ended up choosing Kerio and it ran on Linux, Winodws, and Apple... well, we would feel very comfortable running KMS on an Apple box. I would certainly make sure the storage is fast and capable.

Again, sorry for the long post... I hope this helps!
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