(just changed name to Kerio Connect)
One of the rites of passage faced by any small to medium sized business is that reached when the volume of email you’re managing each day justifies taking the whole operation in-house. Having a local, always-on, server handling the chores that were formerly the preserve of your ISP’s servers makes a lot of sense, but can be daunting, particularly if you don’t have a dedicated IT department.
Kerio MailServer is intended to address the needs of such users. Indeed, its developer claims it’s “the easiest mail server to set up and deploy for organisations with little or no IT staff”.
Suitably challenged, we decided to put Mailserver 6.7 to the test.
We couldn’t find fault with the installation process, setting up Mailserver on an old Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM running Mac OS 10.4.11 that had long been retired from its duties. We’d spoken to Kerio about our choice of machine and were told that even the Mac Mini would be overpowered. Full marks, then, for making a product compatible with a wide range of hardware and operating systems, which isn’t often the case these days. Incidentally, we were pleased to see an Uninstall option available in the Installer.
Configuration of Kerio MailServer is via the Administration console, and the good news for those running a headless server is that this can be run from any local machine running any of the supported operating systems (including Mac OS 10.4 and higher, Windows XP/SP3 and several Linux distros including Red Hat Enterprise 5, SUSE Linux and Ubuntu 8.04 LTS).
We were impressed with how quickly we were able to configure a working mail server using MailServer. We’d take issue with Kerio’s assertion that organisations with no IT staff could cope with the intricacies of Bayesian spam filters and security policies, but for those facing that first step in mail server administration – as well as more advanced users – this product has a lot to offer.
Setting up shared calendars using iCal is also a simple process and Core absolutely love this solution.
- Manufacturer: Kerio
- Pros: Flexible Mac server requirements, compatible with broad range of clients (including iPhone and Windows Mobile) integrated McAfee antivirus engin. Ability to import data from an Exchange Server (and it works!).
- Cons: Yearly AV upgrades a little on the expensive side
- Price: Server with 10 users: £325 (annual renewal price £97). Additional users (blocks of 5): £15/user (annual renewal price £4/user)