Interview

FYI: Smooth sailing with Kerio MailServer

For anyone who is not familiar with your product or this type of product, what does KMS do?

Kerio MailServer is a secure e-mail collaboration solution with built-in antispam and antivirus protection

Is any part of the product open source? If so, what part?

Yes, we are using SpamAssassin for Heuristic and Bayes filtering. Many users say Linux messaging is behind Microsoft in terms of calendaring functions. 

How does Kerio stack up?

According to a Radicati Group study, Outlook makes up 60% of corporate e-mail client. Since most end users are familiar with Outlook's e-mail and calendaring model, KMS was made to be a Microsoft Exchange alternative that can run on Linux. From the end users' experience, they can still use Outlook and Entourage just as if they were still on Exchange; they will not have to learn how to use a new e-mail client. KMS is far less expensive than Exchange, without the Active Directory requirements. KMS provides a more stable mail store than Exchange and provides integrated state-of-the-art antispam and antivirus protection. The built-in Web-based e-mail in KMS even looks like Outlook, so it's much easier for the end user to utilize. 

How is it different from other non-Windows mail server software?

Compared to the homegrown open source solutions, KMS provides its own

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MTA, POP server, IMAP [Internet Message Access Protocol] server, WebMail server, LDAP [Lightweight Directory Access Protocol] server, NNTP [Network News Transfer Protocol], antispam and antivirus all built into one installer. Installation only takes less than a minute and you don't have to compile each component. Setup is very simple and GUI based, so you'll be up in minutes. But even after you add all the open source components to a Unix MTA, you still will not have a complete groupware solution that is supported in Outlook, Entourage and WebMail. Some open source solutions may have a calendar in WebMail but not share that calendar information even with Outlook and Entourage.

How does KMS fit into an enterprise environment? What other software/systems does it work with?

KMS provides an e-mail and collaboration solution to meet the day-to-day demands of corporate communications and scheduling. KMS provides spam and virus protection to guard resources and maintain productivity. [It also provides] archiving and backup for SOX [Sarbanes-Oxley Act] compliance and restoration. 

What types of companies use KMS, and for what purposes?

Small-to-midsized businesses, schools, government agencies and nonprofits. We have 6,000 customers worldwide 

What trends do you see developing in companies using open source or Linux e-mail? Are they using Web-based e-mail (Webmail)? Will e-mail clients fade away in favor of Webmail?

Enterprises that need richer groupware features will use GroupWise, Open Exchange, Domino/Lotus Notes, Scalix or Exchange. Most enterprises that want to save money will look to open source. However, groupware features are lacking with open source, and commonly Webmail is the easiest solution to get calendaring with e-mail. But Kerio MailServer offers groupware package solution at a highly competitive price point. As for Webmail, administrators like it because it saves time in setting up and supporting e-mail clients. They don't have to worry about setting up and supporting the end users' home e-mail client -- just go to a Web site and type in the end users' credentials. But Webmail will not yet replace e-mail clients, unless it can read and compose e-mails offline, and speed is comparable to using a desktop e-mail client. 

What would you say to people who feel that Linux e-mail isn't robust or stable enough for the enterprise?

On the contrary, all Linux-only mail servers like Sendmail, Postfix and Qmail are known to be very reliable and robust in performance. Because the e-mails are stored in flat files, the mail store is much more stable than the mail store in Exchange. One of the main reasons why many are migrating from Exchange is the instability of the mail store in Exchange. In some cases, organizations have lost their mail store due to an e-mail corrupting the entire mail store. In a flat file mail store system, one corrupt e-mail will not affect other files on the mail store. 

How do you go about supporting those firms that don't have Linux skills in-house?

One of the greatest features praised by those who are using or evaluating KMS is the highly intuitive administration console. Kerio MailServer settings are very easy to view and change and you only need one Unix command, if the mail server software is installed on Linux. Otherwise, KMS can also be installed on Macintosh or Windows.


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