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mattm

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We are currently hosting an email solution for a company with over 1,500 users. We want a multi-domain solution to host other companies, potentially that large on the same server. Looking through the forums I see many complaints of service/tech support. The company we are currently with right now is extremely bad on support issues. Their development is slow and custom configs are barely existant. It looks as if the major issue people have with this product is the outlook syncing function.

Can anyone add some insite about this before making our move? Thanks in advance.
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jshaw541

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mattm wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 12:40

We are currently hosting an email solution for a company with over 1,500 users. We want a multi-domain solution to host other companies, potentially that large on the same server. Looking through the forums I see many complaints of service/tech support. The company we are currently with right now is extremely bad on support issues. Their development is slow and custom configs are barely existant. It looks as if the major issue people have with this product is the outlook syncing function.

Can anyone add some insite about this before making our move? Thanks in advance.


I think as Pavel (a Kerio employee) has pointed out to me in the past, the Kerio forums are a user to user thing, and by its very nature a place where we (yes, me included) do a lot of griping and discussing issues with our fellow KMS users.

For support problems, you should contact the Kerio tech support folks. I've always found them very knowledgeable and helpful. They're not the usual reading-from-script "ok... have you made sure your server is plugged in?" types you get in the software industry. They're actually competent. I think most of the folks here would agree.

To honestly give an opinion on whether KMS is right for you, you'd have to tell us what features you're looking for, what you want to do, exactly, etc etc.

Some possible questions to answer:

How many users and domains will you be hosting?

How many POP and IMAP users will you have?

Will you be hooking into a directory service, such as Active Directory for authentication?

How much do you have budgeted to pay for all of this?

Do you want spam filtering?

Do you want anti-virus scanning?

Do you want to provide webmail services? (the current webmail is somewhat slow and only supports the latest browsers, although it seems to be getting better with each release, and there's even rumors that Kerio will be re-releasing a lightweight webmail for older clients.)

Kerio MailServer 6.7.1 w/AD
Windows Server 2003 SP 1
Dell PowerEdge 2850 (Dual Xeon 3.2ghz and 2 GB RAM)
~1300 users
~1000+ concurrent IMAPS connections
iPhone users
Outlook 2007 KOFF users
Apple iCal 10.5/10.6 users
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mattm

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jshaw541, thank you for the prompt reply.

It's good to hear that support is compitent and available as our current developers are not. I will try to answer all your questions:

How many users and domains will you be hosting?

Our largest client is currently at 1500 users udner one domain. With about 3000 existing users on imail, spanned across a few hundred domains.

How many POP and IMAP users will you have?

I'de say about 70% of the users would be POP clients.

Will you be hooking into a directory service, such as Active

Directory for authentication?

Most likely, not.

How much do you have budgeted to pay for all of this?

What Kerio currently charges is attractive our current developers are about 3 times cheaper but then again heirgo the service problems. We have looked into the likes of Scalix, but at $40 a mailbox thats way out of our budget for our userbase.'

Do you want spam filtering?

It would only be a bonus if streamlined into the product, we run Barracudas for spam filtering.

Do you want anti-virus scanning?

Another bonus.

Do you want to provide webmail services? (the current webmail is somewhat slow and only supports the latest browsers, although it seems to be getting better with each release, and there's even rumors that Kerio will be re-releasing a lightweight webmail for older clients.)

Yes, webmail GUI is a must. I have downloaded the evalution and it is excellent from what I can see. Fast for us using Firefox and IE.

To honestly give an opinion on whether KMS is right for you, you'd have to tell us what features you're looking for, what you want to do, exactly, etc etc.

The product as it stands right now (pending any Outlook connector problems) is pretty much what we are looking for and have now. The only other thing I would be looking for is a "sub-admin" function where I can give rights to a user per domain/company to administer just their users and groups, instead of the entire server as it stands now.
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peterj

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I think there are some potential problems with your switching to Kerio from what I can see.

1. You want to use webmail - the webmail interface as it stands is awful. It's problems can't be appreciated when looking at small/empty mailboxes. We have users with 50mb mailboxes that cannot use webmail. It hangs constantly & when working is extremely slow. The fact that browser support is seriously poor makes things worse. You are also extremely limited as far as customising the webmail (You can change the logo!!!)

2. KMS just isn't that scalable. Even Kerio don't recommend using their User DB for more than 1000 users - you need to use an external directory for 3000!

3. Spam filtering is OK but detection reliability fluctuates wildly between versions. Once you get the Bayes trained it always seems to be screwed up again by an update.

4. AV Scanning using inbuilt McAfee is pretty weak. Just try testing it with www.testvirus.org

5. Per domain management will not exist until 6.1 (Who knows when that will arrive) and I wouldn't risk using it until about 6.1.3 because it doubtless won't work.

6. Finally, (trying not to sound too bitter) I disagree about quality of tech support. I tend to email in in tickets. I usually have to wait about 5days for a reply and then it is usually 'Um, send us your config' or 'We cannot reproduce this'

I have about 30bugs in a word document that I am waiting to be fixed with no idea whether there is any action. Kerio have recently stopped giving reference numbers for suggestions or estimating milestones.


I get constant error messages relating to SSE AV and Secure POP3 connections that Kerio cannot explain (& have given up) and each new release causes new memory leaks, I restart the KMS service almost daily now to cure problems.
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nina

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This might be a one timer, but I had an open ticket with support UK and as I was not getting any feedback so I tried to phone. I must have phoned about 20 times during business hours for two days and nobody answered the phone, just a voice asking you to send an email or phone later.. two days!

Usually they answer the phone as well as mails, but sometimes you just might get unlucky..
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Iassen Hristov

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That's an interesting article. Can someone explain what do they mean when
they say "Kerio’s built-in load balancing" ?
It appears in the middle column on the last page:

"Two (placed in cascade) front-end servers
using Kerio’s built-in load balancing handle
25,000 messages or about 1 GB of data
sent and received per hour. The average CPU
utilization is about 25%."

--On Friday, March 04, 2005 13:40 +0100 Mayk <mayk_backus<_at_>hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
> http://www.kerio.com/img/media/atlas_cmyk300dpi175lpi.pdf
>
>





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Tr!une

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I for one, like KMS. For our size of company, it is a great product. Not perfect, but it blend easy administration, antivirus, spam filtering and multiple methods of connection into one product for a good price.

It may be a different story for a larger company (we have less than 120 users.) Forums are the place for griping and sharing info with others, not for tech support.

My tech support experience has been very good. I have 20 tickets in my history with Kerio. 17 have been closed, 2 are on hold waiting for fixes. Both those are not major issues and have been identified as bugs and due to be fixed in next major release. The other ticket is a bug and they just sent me a solution for it today.

So my advice is to not let griping on a forum sway you one way or another. Many are legitimate problems, some are from illegal users and some are just people that can't be pleased.

That is just my two cents
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peterj

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Sorry to be negative again:

I have 72 support tickets. About thirty of them are due to bugs.

Most of the unresolved bugs have existed since about 6.0.2 because lately I have not been bothering to submit them as they never seem to be fixed.

The last two different KOC problems I had the best suggestions were "re-install Windows XP & office" and "Stop XP from locking the workstation or going into power-save"

Frankly unacceptable!!

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peterj

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As for scalability. The document that Mayk has linked to states

"A few customizations to the product were needed. Because the native user directory in Kerio MailServer could not support the
number accounts required, it instead connects to an LDAP directory, which accesses and stores user data in a SQL database."

The article also says:

"Kerio MailServer features IMAP, it was very easy for Atlas to integrate it with their already developed web mail, allowing them to maintain their custom design and portal functions."

Clearly the Kerio webmail was not good enough for them!!!

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peterj

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Almost Finished Now!!!

Below is an extract from the KMS directory requirements page:

Internal user database
Kerio MailServer's internal user database is the easiest choice for smaller companies with fewer than 250 users, whether the mail server runs on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. For more elaborate setups, Kerio MailServer can maintain its separate internal user database independently from the directory service, and run both databases concurrently.

Microsoft Active Directory
Companies already using Microsoft Active Directory or, those planning to manage more than 250 email accounts, can easily map their users and groups from the Active Directory user database to Kerio MailServer.

NOW YOU (&MAYK) CAN SEE WHY KERIO WON'T COPE WITH 1500 ACCOUNTS IN IT'S LOCAL DB (PARTICULARLY ON ONE SERVER)
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Tr!une

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I forgot to add; the webmail portion is definetely still a work in progress. I like the design, but it is way too slow for dial-up users and has some major usability flaws.
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mattm

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Personally I like the web interface and it seems pretty fast to me. I will fill it up with some mail and see how it performs. As far as over 1k users and using LDAP, how effective is that? Has anyone ever toyed with the idea of storing users in MySQL? Does the LDAP server have to be on a seperate box or can it reside on the same machine?
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peterj

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This connection to an LDAP DB was a custom setup.

The inbuilt external DB support is limited to Apple Open Dir and Active Directory
mattm

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So the concensous is for anything over 1k users, not wanting to use active directory, this product dosn't perform well out of the box? I read the article a user posted above for 1 million users, though it dosn't go into detail on the infrastructure used aside from the amount of servers.

As an ISP we would be hosting MANY domains, housing in the range of 3k - 4k mailboxes.
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