[svlug] Exchange server for Linux?

Craig Oda craigoda at gmail.com
Thu Dec 23 08:58:43 PST 2004


We're running Windows XP desktops and Linux servers.  Moving to Linux
desktops is not a viable option right now.  We need the full
compatibility of MS Office files.  OpenOffice is not sufficient for
our requirements.

I have evaluated the Firefox Calendar plug-in.  It looks good. 
However, I'm hesitant to do any work until I find someone with
successful experience with shared calendaring deployments with these
constraints:
  - everyone in the office uses Windows XP on the desktops and 90% of
the people won't change.  If 100% of people don't change, we stay with
Windows XP.  Thus, desktops must be Windows XP.
  - Back-end server is Linux and only Linux
  - everyone uses MS Outlook and is thus going to be extremely
reluctant to move off of Outlook calendering

Sparc Solaris is not an attractive option.  I want to keep everything
on the server Linux.  If we have to move off of Linux, we're probably
going to standardize on Windows instead of Solaris.  (very unpleasant
thought, but possible).

Right now, I'm thinking of spending a day trying to evaluate Bynari
Insight on Linux.  This is a big time-investment for us.   The
evaluation process for a Linux solution is the primary bottleneck for
us to roll something out on Linux.

If we go Windows plus Exchange, at least I know that some
poor-soul-of-a-consultant can get it to work.

If we go Linux (strong preference), it's not clear to me what the best
outcome will be.  Will there be 100% compatibility with Outlook?  90%
of the features?  It's unclear to me.

Also, the reason for the strong preference for Linux is purely a
business reason.  We don't have Windows admin experience, but we do
have Linux admin experience inhouse.  Thus, moving to Windows will
force us to hire someone to manage the Windows server (because no one
here will want to touch it.)

In two years of operation, our Linux server has never crashed.  It
just hums along with no problems.

-- Craig


On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 07:44:27 -0800, Jeremy Hunt
<jh-svlug at frostypenguin.net> wrote:
> James Sparenberg wrote:
> 
> >
> >Unfortunately I don't use one right now.  However If any one of them is
> >getting effort above others it would possibly be Ximian/Novel/SuSE
> >Connector.  This is designed to be a "drop in" replacement for M$
> >Exchange.  It runs on every distro I've seen and thanks to Novel is
> >starting to get viable and accurate documentation.  It's GPL so you have
> >the ability to actually see what it is doing and make it do what you
> >want.
> >
> Just to clarify, this is a drop in replacement for Outlook. It helps you
> connect to Exchange.  The 1.4 series works great but alas requires Exchange.
> 
> -Jeremy
> 
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