Need advice on email server...

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by mikepool, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. mikepool

    mikepool MDL Novice

    Mar 31, 2008
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    #1 mikepool, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
    I have a Windows Server 2008 R2 running on an i7 based machine with 6GB memory. I would like to know what experienced folks on this forum would recommend for my needs.

    Currently, I'm running Apache Web Server, IIS 7.5, an FTP server and an email server on the same box. I host a few websites and around 25 email accounts. This box is in a production environment but its low volume so it functions just fine and it's resource usage is pretty light.

    I'm looking to migrate to a more feature rich email server that works with the Outlook 2010 desktop application. I want to use ActiveSync (preferably on a non-standard port) to sync email, tasks and notes with mobile devices and also have a web portal. I have been trialing MDaemon and find it to be a near perfect solution for my needs but after countless hours of testing, I've found some pretty substantial bugs and I'm just tired of uncovering issue after issue.

    I have already Googled to my heart's content. I'm asking for advice from those with real-world experience with products from different vendors who've, "Been there, done that!"

    What alternatives are there that will run happily on my current system and fulfill my needs?

    I'm thinking Exchange my be overkill and out of question because of lack of physical resources and I currently do not use Active Directory or Domain Controllers although I don't know if earlier versions of Exchange would be an option.
     
  2. Jahanbani

    Jahanbani MDL Novice

    Aug 24, 2009
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    Dear Mike,
    Consider running a hypervisor solution like vmware ESXi and distribute the roles to different operating systems ...
    Microsoft exchange server 2010 is your best bet, but it requires much more memory and you need active directory, directory services as a prerequisite.
    Kerio Connect is another solution but you have to compare the features first.
    PS: I did not mentioned Exchange 2013 as it requires much more memory to run.
    Good luck.
     
  3. trasher255

    trasher255 MDL Member

    Jul 26, 2009
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    I run Exchange 2013 and several other applications on one box with Server 2012. It also is the domain controller. It has a simple AMD CPU and 8GB memory. Works fine for several years now.
     
  4. mikepool

    mikepool MDL Novice

    Mar 31, 2008
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    @Jahanbani
    I've been considering doing this for a long time but I do not know if my hardware is compatible with ESX plus I don't think I have enough memory.

    @trasher255
    That's a surprise to me. I read that Exchange 2013 required 50% more resources than 2010. Are any of those "several other applications" you are running server instances such as IIS, Apache Web Server, FTP server, etc? Did you have the previous versions of Exchange installed at some point? I know each newer version consumes more resources so what do you really gain? Is there any version of Exchange I should stay away from?

    @sebus
    Thanks for the reply but you must have missed some of my requirements. I went back to op and made them bold. I was running hMailServer for years before I migrated to MDaemon. hMailServer is a great little MTA but it lacks syncing calendar, tasks and notes via ActiveSync.

    All in all, I believe MDaemon is the best fit for my needs because it seems to be pretty light on resource usage and it does not require any of the extra work associated with Exchange such as setting up a domain controller and active directory. I just wish it did not suffer from the couple of bugs I have not been able to overcome. Are there any other email servers like MDaemon?
     
  5. trasher255

    trasher255 MDL Member

    Jul 26, 2009
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    What I use my server for:
    • Domain controller
    • Exchange 2013. I had also previous versions (2008 and 2010). All Exchange versions ran flawlessly. 2013 uses more memory so I upgraded from 4 to 8 GB.
    • Files server (folder redirection)
    • Web server
    • FTP server
    • Mezzmo (video streaming)
    • WebcamXP (video capturing)

    I only have a few users whough, so all very light use.
     
  6. kubato

    kubato MDL Member

    Jul 29, 2009
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  7. mikepool

    mikepool MDL Novice

    Mar 31, 2008
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    @trasher255
    I read that there are issues with services properly starting when installing Exchange on the DC and other issues . Have you encountered any issues?

    My only other option it seems would be running ESXi and two VM's but that seems like so much more to learn and service not to mention the resources needed.

    I've been Googling so much I can't keep it all straight.
     
  8. trasher255

    trasher255 MDL Member

    Jul 26, 2009
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    When you restart the DC, you indeed should monitor that all services have started properly. Sometimes they have not. That's why I don't let install updates automatically.
    Apart from that I encounter some events (mostly 1310 IIS) frequently logged, but they do not hinder any smooth mail traffic. So it's not an issue. Accessing Exchange through it's webinterface (owa or ecp) is a bit slow initially, but normal when everything is loaded.

    As I said earlier, I use Exchange for about 7 years in the same configuration, always using the latest version/updates and it's a pleasure to use with Outlook, iPad and Windows Phone.
     
  9. kubato

    kubato MDL Member

    Jul 29, 2009
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  10. tec805

    tec805 MDL Novice

    Jun 3, 2008
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    It's been a while, curious how things have gone with Exchange 2013.

    I'm in almost the same boat, need to update from Server 2003/Exchange 2003, still not sure which way to go. I've been using MXGuardDog for spam for a while, pretty cheap and works very well.