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Paddy

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Hi,

With Exchange 5.5 being discontinued, I'm looking at alternatives.

We have a small installation of around 30-40 mailboxes. Main usage of Exchange is mail, contacts and calender. Users tend to use there mailbox as a storage area (company wide from the top down and this will not change), so 10,000+ messages in a mailbox not uncommon.
Mail clients Outlook 2003(a bit flakey with Exchange 5.5) and webmail.

With the restricted testing I've done Kerio seems a good replacement.

Could anyone who has made the switch let me know how their users responded?
1. Did they notice?
2. Was there any complaints about kerio/outlook functionality?
3. Were there any 'gotchas'?
4. Any lost functionality (with regards to the usage mention above)?
5. Any regrets?

TIA
Paddy
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peterj

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Yes they will notice the change.

More bugs & less features.

Rules cannot be set in tools-rules as they will disappear. Rules cannot be run on demand.

There will probably be complaints from users as KMS is considerably slower than exchange when serving folders with many messages using KOC.

I suggest importing a 10,000 message mailbox and watching the time it takes to display the folders and scroll through them.

The importing process will screw up the headers & probably the date/time.

The main problems are no Win98 support, slowness and differences/problems with rules.

There may also be some new bugs - reminders not appearing or at wrong time & messages stuck in the outbox.
This sounds very negative but hopefully the KOC will get better.

& almost forgot - You cannot have offline access so if any users have laptops they will not be able to open outlook offline & view mail/calendars etc.

& one last thing - many sync programs do not work with KOC. Activesync/hotsync type software - you may have problems is you have users with PDA's
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Kerio_jthomas

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So peter, tell us again, why are you still using our product?

Oh right, it's 1/3 to 1/10 the cost of Exchange.

Joshua Thomas
Technical Support Manager
2350 Mission College Blvd, Suite 400
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: (408) 496-4500
Fax: (408) 496-6902
http://www.kerio.com/support.html

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Kerio_jthomas

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On a better note, your users will see:

* Less spam from the integrated anti-spam tool, CallerID support, SPF support, blacklist support, and Spam Repellant tool

* Integrated anti-virus: McAfee bundled, or one of several others supported as a plugin. And, you can run both McAfee and an external for double protection.

* Mailing list feature built right in.

* Both a full-featured and a "light" WebMail.

Cheers,
Joshua

Joshua Thomas
Technical Support Manager
2350 Mission College Blvd, Suite 400
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: (408) 496-4500
Fax: (408) 496-6902
http://www.kerio.com/support.html

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peterj

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Quote:

So peter, tell us again, why are you still using our product


Lol - That's just what I wonder too...?
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peterj

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I think it's fair for me to say that KMS/KOC is not as good as Exchange (Although there are many advantages for the sysadmin)

Just as it is fair for you to point out how much cheaper it is..

Sometimes you get what you pay for..

[Updated on: Mon, 31 October 2005 20:12]

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Kerio_jthomas

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peterj wrote on Mon, 31 October 2005 11:11

I think it's fair for me to say that KMS/KOC is not as good as Exchange (Although there are many advantages for the sysadmin)

Just as it is fair for you to point out how much cheaper it is..

Sometimes you get what you pay for..



It's quite unfair for you to be so negative about it. You've mentioned only the bugs we are working on. You have not mentioned any of the features that Kerio offers over Exchange. It paints an untrue picture of the product.

I admit that we don't support every single thing Exchange does and that there is a lot of work yet to be done.

I didn't mention that regular (Standard) Exchange 2003 has a 16GB database limit - or 75GB if you are running SP2. Kerio is not limited in this way.

That's a pretty big difference for users of large scale systems, wouldn't you agree?

If I was hosting a very large system, I might say Exchange is not as good as Kerio!

Cheers,
Joshua

Joshua Thomas
Technical Support Manager
2350 Mission College Blvd, Suite 400
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: (408) 496-4500
Fax: (408) 496-6902
http://www.kerio.com/support.html

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Paddy

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Right, so I've heard from one less than happy user and a member of Kerio.

Anyone else?

I have to say that I have tested it on my mail box with just under 9000 messages on a de-commissioned workstation with poor spec running linux and I thought the speed was good. There is a slight pause now and then when scrolling fast through the list of messages. but not a long enough pause to worry about.
Webmail blows OWA on Ex 5.5 away, although I was sorry to see the drag and drop feature stop working with Firefox.
As for getting what you pay for, In the process of looking for a M$ replacement Kerio was not the first to be tried. I looked at Bynari, Scalix, and OpenXchange. Kerio appears to hold its own against them all for a fraction of what the others charge. Having said that, it all very well trying it with a couple of real mail boxes, which is what I've done with all I've tried -I now need feed back from users.
Unfortunately its not the sought of thing you can test in 'anger' with true load. So please If you've switched from Ex 5.5 to Kerio, please tell me about it.
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nickrooster

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I switched from Exchange 2000 to KMS, and I love it.
I had hit the aforementioned 16GB limit. That was not fun in Exchange...
but anyway, my users are all using an IMAP client (Thunderbird). The webmail is indeed awesome, and my remote users use it when they are on the road.
Importing mailboxes from Exchange was easy with the provided tool. Some headers were changed to 12/31 1969 for some reason, but not all.
I love it from an administration end because the admin tool is cross-platform and does not have to be run on the same box as the mailserver. It is also easy and quick to set up advanced functionality like forwarders and anti-spam rules. Also love the easy config built-in antivirus.

Exchange worked, but relied on Active Directory, which I do not enjoy. I am switching over our authentication to OpenLDAP in the coming months, and we will be rid of this cursed Windows server.

KMS works much better from a stability standpoint (uptimes from when one version is updated until the next version comes out - basically 100%, which is better than I can say for Exchange.), and costs less. It is also way less flaky than most of the other solutions you mentioned. It just works for this linux user.

Support is really excellent - they always get back to me with something to try very quickly which usually fixes my problem on the first go-round.

Can I cobble together an IMAP + POP3 + SMTP + Webmail + LDAP + Spam Assassin solution myself? Yes, but it took only 1 night to migrate all of my users and almost 0 time to install / configure KMS.

There is plenty of nay-saying, but it really is an awesome product!
-Nick
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peterj

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Quote:

It's quite unfair for you to be so negative about it


This maybe true. To re-dress the balance here are some of the pros of KMS:

1) Admin console is great This is KMS' best feature!

2) Spam & Bayes training is good (Although IMF is included in Ex2003 - not mentioned)

3) Backup & Restore is simple to do (Now functionality restored in 6.1.1)

4) KMS is cheaper than Exchange (Although don't forget Outlook must be purchased whereas Exchange includes it)

5) User setup is easy (As is the rest of the configuration)

6) Logging & debugging is good & easy to do

7) Webmail is pretty good (Premium version is a bit slow) & this is improved in 6.1.1 from other versions

8) KMS doesn't require a server o/s for small installs

Quote:

Exchange 2003 has a 16GB database limit

This is true but is imposed by M$ by design. KMS may not have a fixed limit but if using the KOC & your mailbox is >500MB then the performance is the limiting factor.

****************************************************

The problem is that a lot of the great features in KMS are for the sysadmin & most of the bugs/issues are in the KOC.

If my users tell me that Outlook crashes, messages do not send, PDA's do not sync and Outlook access is very slow they are not interested when my reply is "but the administration is mch easier & more manageable!"

The truth is that users don't care if managing an exchange install is a lot of work for the admin or EXPENSIVE! - they just want the user(outlook) experience to be great!!!

(& they want offline access)

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jonbrain

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I moved from Small Business Server 2000 (Exchange 2000) to kerio 6.0 on OS X I think around a year ago.

Unfortunately Kerio 6.0 was terribly buggy. Overtime it has improved and the latest version so far has been great.

Good Points:
Webmail - Excellent and works in lots of browsers including Safari

Admin Console - A dream to use compared to Exchange.

iCal Support - iCal (OS X) and Thunderbird Calendar work.

Stable - Not earlier versions, but this version so far has been great.

The only problem I have is with the Outlook Connector. My users who have large mailboxes use POP 3 instead as the Kerio Connector is just to slow, this is far from ideal. The latest version is a lot better than previous but is still not great. Until it synchs to an offline folder this will always be the case, but hopefully Kerio will have offline support soon.

If Kerio and Exchange where priced the same I would still go for Kerio. I hated running an exchange server, I hated running a Kerio server a few months ago (buggy versions) but the latest version just works great and is incredibly simple to administer. A lot of my users are also exploring using alternatives to outlook (mainly Thunderbird) and Kerio is great for this.

Unfortunately I am always going to have heavy Outlook users, and if Kerio could just get offline support it really would be the ultimate email server.

Overall though I would reccomend you go for it, from what i have heard Kerio are investing heavily in this product, and its great to see the support team getting more involved in this forum.
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peterj

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...that's true Kerio have discontinued some other products and say they are going to concentrate on KMS and particularly on the KOC. Things can only get better..

I really hope this is true as the KOC could be a real selling point.

My advice would be to hold off on extra server-side features and get the KOC performance and relaibility improved and no more flaky (untested..?) releases.

Then put in offline support.

Apart from the KOC the mailserver is fine. However bearing in mind that outlook is the client of choice & dare I say it. 'The Industry Standard' this is a show-stopping obstacle to it's deployment.

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keaian

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Here is the biggest reason why you SHOULD use Kerio over Exchange.

ITS NOT EXCHANGE OR MICROSLOP. Thus any bugs will be fixed in a much more timely fashion. Most bugs are not so critical that it will cause your entire server to crash.

Exchange requires it's own very powerful server. Kerio seems to run on pretty much everything. Obviously if you put kerio on machine that was designed to exchange then wow.. it would be so quick.

Microsoft doesnt release enhancements they release bug fixes and if it is considered an enhancement then rest assured it will cost you something.

Kudos to Kerio. They take the concept of email and don't over complicate it. They add tons of great features and don't charge you to use them.

I am managing 4 separate offices and one of them is running exchange 5.5. I have another office on Kerio. I can wait to switch over to kerio from exchange.

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HidS

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Depends.

If money is no object, go for MS Exchange.

You will never lose your job for putting in an MS Alternative.

However, if you take price into the equation, KMS is a good choice.

Be prepared for mega-headaches tho. Exporting PST files to KMS was a total nightmare. It took me about an hour to do each mailbox and I had 70 to do... I had to do some folders individually since I couldn't persuade KOC to import more than 512 pieces of mail at a time. It kept crashing constantly and u never knew where it crashed so u had to either start again or look thru every folder.

Also, KOC is slow in general. I have to admit tho, i don't know how fast Exchange/Outlook is but compared to Outlook/PST, it's mind-numbingly slow, esp if u have 1k+ mail in a folder.

Webmail works fine, esp if u use the SLOW CONNECTION mode. The other mode is, again, slow even on high end machines.

(when I say SLOW, i mean there is a few second delay to go into folders and scrolling through the list. Personally, it doesn't really kill me but my 'oh so busy' users get highly irate about it.)

It also seems to work ok in IMAP mode with Blackberrys.

So, in summary:

Money no object? Get MS. Your job is safer.

U wanna make large savings? Seriously consider KMS but I DEFINTIELY urge you to make a 'copy' of a majority of your mailboxes into Kerio and have a go first. Import a few of your LARGEST mailboxes and try it out on the most difficult users.

If you get any negative feedback, go with MS Exchange. At the end of the day, u can say, well, hey, it's Microsoft, it's industry standard (lame but true.)
sedell

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keaian wrote on Mon, 31 October 2005 23:07

ITS NOT EXCHANGE OR MICROSLOP. Thus any bugs will be fixed in a much more timely fashion. Most bugs are not so critical that it will cause your entire server to crash.

Don't count on that. Serious bugs that cause Outlook to be unusable have taken months to fix. I still have several support tickets open for bugs since June. Granted they're not *major* bugs that are open that long, but users don't care after fighting with annoying bugs for months on end with no fix.



HidS wrote on Tue, 01 November 2005 05:39

Be prepared for mega-headaches tho. Exporting PST files to KMS was a total nightmare. It took me about an hour to do each mailbox and I had 70 to do... I had to do some folders individually since I couldn't persuade KOC to import more than 512 pieces of mail at a time. It kept crashing constantly and u never knew where it crashed so u had to either start again or look thru every folder.


Something else to consider... KMS uses the file date to index mail. On top of all the headaches of importing from PSTs, all of the mail will have a file date of the date of import. This is true if you are importing from a PST, or using the Exchange mirgration tool. If the index ever gets corrupt, all of your mail will be re-indexed using the DATE OF IMPORT, not the actual message date. This has caused me many headaches, to the point where I've had to write my own program to correct the mail. Kerio has no fix, and hasn't even acknowledged the issue as a bug/flaw/problem.

Scott
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