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

Wed Jul 18 15:27:24 UTC 2018
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

On 07/18/2018 10:04 AM, Turritopsis Dohrnii Teo En Ming wrote:
> Good evening from Singapore,
> I am torn between deploying Microsoft Exchange 2016 and Linux-based
> SMTP servers like sendmail, postfix, qmail and exim.
> Relative ease of installation and configuration is an important
> consideration factor.
> Microsoft Exchange 2016, Domain Controller, and Active Directory are
> relatively easy to install and configure. Linux-based SMTP servers are
> extremely difficult to install and configure and of course, extremely
> time-consuming.
> One of the features of Microsoft Exchange 2016 is that you can create
> additional folders on your Inbox in the server (server-side). Can
> Linux-based SMTP servers do that?
> Does Exchange 2016 offer more user-friendly features or Linux-based
> SMTP servers?
> Besides the above considerations, how about security? Traditionally,
> Linux is far more secure than Windows.
> Judging by security, Linux-based SMTP servers ought to have a higher percentage of the market share?
> Finally, I can only use Windows Server 2016 Standard Evaluation Copy FREE for a period of 3 years MAXIMUM. But I can use Linux servers and Mail Transport Agents (MTA) FREE perpetually.
> Please advise.

You would need to use other pieces besides just the SMTP aspect if using
Linux.  (ie, you would need an IMAP server, a Web front end (like

The main issue is still going to be calendaring.  To be perfectly honest
and frank here .. NONE of the Linux based calendaring solutions are good
enough (IMHO) for major business use.

As much as it pains me to say it, I would personally recommend either
office365 or googleapps for mail if I were currently a SysAdmin making
recommendations for a company of moderate size.  If you HAVE to run a
local server, then again, as much as it pains me to say it .. I would
use Exchange because of the terrible calendaring on Linux based solutions.

There are some suites out there that run on Linux and provide some
decent calendaring (zimba, iredmail, kolab, etc.)  But my personal
experience managing those (and using them) is that they are subpar to
the google calendar or exchange calendar solutions.

That said, there are a bunch of other pieces (like SPAM filtering, virus
scanning, etc.) and all of that adds to the cost of an Exchange
solution.  And you really can't just ignore those things in 2018 anymore
.. so certainly a Linux based on premise solution would be cheaper to

People say that office365 and googleapps solutions are too expensive,
but my experience tells me that if you factor in all costs (including
hardware and sysadmin time, etc.), and look at quality of service
(especially calendaring), those services are competitive.

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