[CentOS] Which is better? Microsoft Exchange 2016 or Linux-based SMTP Servers?

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu
Thu Jul 19 14:57:22 UTC 2018

On 07/19/18 09:14, Johnny Hughes wrote:
> On 07/18/2018 04:05 PM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> On 07/18/18 14:36, Johnny Hughes wrote:
>>> On 07/18/2018 01:58 PM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>>> But are you guys really telling you think the calendaring / scheduling
>>>>> for individual users and the main corporate account, etc. .. are
>>>>> working
>>>>> well enough with any Linux solution.
>>>> I must confess, my servers are FreeBSD, but I'm quite sure the same is
>>>> doable easily on Linux.
>>>> We use for calendars Owncloud (may migrate to nextcloud in some future
>>>> to come). That authenticates against LDAP.
>>> And does that calendar solution allow for things like:
>>> 1)  Allowing all users in the organization to see users calendars and
>>> see when they are free to schedule a meeting with them.
>> Yes at least about a part of it: calendars can be shared with some
>> people or with everybody (which we didn't do, so I may be not 100%
>> presenting "experimental fact" here). Not certain about "free/not free"
>> mapped on calendars though.
>>> 2) Allow for designated people to schedule meetings for others (ie, your
>>> secretary/office assistant can schedule meetings for people, etc.)
>> Yes, you can share calendar with anybody, and can set any set of choices
>> can read
>> can write
>> can "re-share" your calendar
>> You can share stuff to external people, and set individual
>> authentication for them independent of our system (in general, it is not
>> just calendars, but we use it for mostly synchronizing between all of
>> your devices, and also sharing: files, calendars, address book; it can
>> also be bookmarks, and there are variety of plugins expanding what else
>> can be accessed/synchronized via web/dav)
>>> 3) Allow a calendar to schedule shared items .. like meeting rooms,
>>> shared vehicles, etc.  So that people can check those out for specifc
>>> time windows, etc.
>> No, but for resource booking (if I read the question correctly) we use
>> mrbs (https://mrbs.sourceforge.io/). I know, that is not "integrated"
>> for you to have everything in one place. I never had time to look for
>> extention/plugin to suck from mrbs booked slot into one's calendar.
>>> Those are just a couple of minor things a lot of solutions can't do
>>> And do they work with imap, etc.
>> No, owncloud/nextcloud don't work with IMAP as far as I know. Mail
>> server is separate issue. Zimbra in that respect IS "integrated
>> collaborative environment". And so is Kolab. They both are lacking
>> per-user spam preferences. One more thing that added some minus for each
>> of them in my estimate what to choose is: behind each of them there is
>> commercial company. And that in my looooong experience significantly
>> increases the chance one day openly available incarnation of each may
>> become no longer available for us, and I will have to find replacement
>> in a rush and find the way to migrate to it, and the more sophisticated
>> the thing is, the trickier the migration will be.
>> My answers are mostly about owncloud which we use for quite some time.
>> Nextcloud is fork of owncloud, and to my regret nextcloud doesn't work
>> with postgresql, only with mysql/MariaDB, whereas owncloud works with
>> postgresql as well as with mysql/MariaDB (still we have some reasons to
>> migrate to nextcloud at some point).
>> I hope, someone with more knowledge will chime in.
> Don't get me wrong.  I've run qmail, postfix, and zimbra mail servers
> with IMAP, along with webmail front ends (roundcude, squirrel mail,
> etc), for windows, mac and linux clients for several companies (all on
> CentOS of course :D) .. I just don't think that calendaring that I have
> seen is as user friendly as google calendar (for example).  But I'm all
> for people running mail servers on CentOS (or any other Linux) if they
> want !

No, I'm not getting you wrong. You gave nicely put set of properties 
[some]one may be interested to know of, which I tried to answer. Also: 
Thanks, Arif, for correcting/expanding in the other post what I said 
about owncloud/nextcloud. That was extremely helpful!

As far as google anything goes, not everybody volunteers one's 
information into paws of google (and quite likely one or more of 3 
letter agencies collecting information that way). I know (call it 
educated guess) that about 70% of messages I send are ending up in 
google databases whether I want it or not. Someone said quite some time 
ago: you don't need to recruit spies anymore, just roll out "free" 
services, and information will trickle to you. I am old enough to know 
what collection of information on everybody leads to (Hitler Germany, 
Stalin Russia, ...), but I also know that the worst lesson of history 
is: people do not learn lessons of history. So, I do the best I can do: 
roll out services people I work for may need, and avoid by any means 
advertising google whatever myself, I just keep neutral when that 
surfaces in discussions with my people.


>>> Zimbra does not work very well with
>>> Thunderbird and Lighting (for example) .. many solutions don't work with
>>> Windows or Mac clients, etc.
>>>> For mail we use postfix, dovecot and maia for spam filtering (the last
>>>> harnesses spamassassin, clamav and few other things).
>>>> Of course, zimbra you mentioned earlier in the thread (or was it not
>>>> you?), and Kolab provide more corporate-like collaboration environments,
>>>> but I shied away from them as I set myself a goal to give users
>>>> individual handle on spam/virus filtering in email, and neither of them
>>>> has per-user spam preferences (take it with the grain of salt, I might
>>>> have missed something...)
>>>> Just my $0.02.
>>> <snip>
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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