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I have recently been introduced to a company called PostPath. They are a new technology company that have created a Linux-based alternative to Microsoft's Exchange. Their proposition is that Microsoft Outlook is the killer application. As long as users can run Outlook and have all the features and functionality that they are used to, it shouldn't matter what is serving it up on the back end. And if that back end can run on cheaper hardware and storage with a highly-flexible open source OS, all the better.

I have been working with the latest version of the PostPath server and it is pretty amazing. It does deliver as promised - full Outlook functionality at a fraction of the software, hardware and storage costs. PostPath has also signed a partnership with VMWare and is fully supported as a virtualized platform. This gives you tremendous flexibility when it comes to disaster recovery and business continuity. They fully (and seamlessly) support Blackberry clients and the Blackberry Enterprise Server. They have enhanced the open source version of Zimbra for their web-based client and added several enhancements. They also offer a mobility server called Sync Server which supports Windows Mobile 6 clients.

The PostPath server can run in a Microsoft Active Directory environment by itself or in co-existence with an already installed Exchange organization. If Exchange is not already present, it can perform a full forest and domain prep to add the correct schema extensions to Active Directory. Once installed, when viewed within ESM, it looks like any other Exchange server. You can create mailboxes on it using ADUC just as you do with any other Exchange server. Users can be migrated to and from the PostPath server using the traditional ADUC move mailbox process. The one downside is, since it is running Linux, it does not respond to WMI calls. Therefor, you cannot administer or browse its resources through ESM and there are some workarounds for commonly performed Exchange tasks. However, enhancements to the product are being added at a rapid clip and the engineering team is very responsive to customer feedback and suggestions for engineering enhancements.

So far it has been a pleasure to work with the product and I look forward to learning more about it and its capabilities as an alternative to Exchange.

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:16 AM Exchange , Active Directory , Virtualization , Linux | Back to top

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