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Looking for recommendations on alternatives to using MS Exchange server.

Email, calendering, ease of administration, archiving being the priority. Nice to have features being mobile support and internal IM.


locked by HopelessN00b Jan 23 '15 at 8:33

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Bryan, Jenny D, Ladadadada, voretaq7 Jul 1 '13 at 16:45

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  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Falcon Momot, Bryan, Jenny D, Ladadadada, voretaq7
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See this question for some more responses, admittedly linux only… – Sam Feb 4 '10 at 16:41

I'm happily using Zimbra:

  • ease to administer
  • simple to the users
  • very well integrated
  • internal IM
  • resource/calendar/contacts/document sharing
  • very well synced with OS clients (iCal, Thunderbird, iSync, iPhone)
  • easy and fast used with iphone

The only thing is the upgrade procedure, to be quite manually handled if you had made some strong graphic customizations ... but it is really simple.

I'm recommending ZCS .

I was leaning towards Zimbra, but the recent MS/Yahoo brotherhood makes me wonder if Zimbra's life cycle may be limited. – Rump Feb 4 '10 at 15:57
@Rump: You must have missed the news. Zimbra was sold to VMWare a couple of weeks ago. – 3dinfluence Feb 4 '10 at 16:12
I surely did, that's great to hear. – Rump Feb 4 '10 at 16:34
We have been using Zimbra for 2 years and have been pretty happy with it. I will also add that the mobile license will allows sync with any activesync windows phone out of the "box" and will also work with Blackberry devices through BES setup as exchange. – Alex Feb 4 '10 at 17:04
@Rump: So why the worry about MS/Yahoo's dealings then? I should also add that we have been a Zimbra Network Edition customer for 1.5 years. And use the mobile license as well to push email/contacts/and calendars to iPhones mostly. Works great. The only short coming in Zimbra at the moment in my opinion is the tasks. That area is still a bit basic and not up to the same level as Outlook/Exchange. – 3dinfluence Feb 4 '10 at 18:35

Definitely Zimbra - in addition to what AlberT said, it has apretty good support option if you need it, and installation is a breeze. The worldwide installbase is huge, and growing as well.

a problem in the installation is that it is completely interactive. As a workaround I wrote an expect script, but this is quite tricky. – drAlberT Feb 4 '10 at 15:58

Check out

Very clean AGPL free software. Clean architecture. Native support of Outlook, BES and all Active Sync mobiles. No. 1 in Europe.

I like it very much, since I am part of the Zarafa - team



Zarafa looks great, and the demo seemed very Outlookish, smooth, easy to use. Only issue is the cost. The community edition only supports 3 Outlook users, that won't cut it for us. A 50 user setup for the professional version is $2050 CDN for the first year. And I'm not sure I understand the pricing scheme for subsequent years. And a 50 user setup for Professional is actually cheaper than a 50 user setup for Standard. – Rump Feb 5 '10 at 15:31

The Standard is not a subscription. It is a one time licence fee. Professional brings the BES connector with and is a yearly subscription.

The comunity brings really everything one need when he doesn't use Outlook. Standard is for the Outlook users. Professional for companies with BES and the need for a better SLA. Enterprise if you need multiserver for thousands of users and SLAs with 24/7.

The community is complete AGPL free software and really a good thing for most people since the webacces has look&feel like Outlook but without the costs.

Give it a try.


You should add a comment to reply to other comments. Do not add responses for this porpoise plz. – drAlberT Feb 8 '10 at 9:32

How much Exchange functionality do you really need?

If you're willing to role up your sleeves, you can build a very scalable solution using an open source stack.

PostgreSQL -- Central database for accounts, aliases, and configuration details Cyrus IMAP -- POP3 and IMAP & IMAP-IDLE for push messaging Cyrus SASL -- Provides SMTP-AUTH capabilities Postfix -- for SMTP (mail routing) SpamAssassin -- SPAM Tagging ClamAV -- Virus tagging Amavisd -- SPAM + Virus filtering and per user SPAM rules Cyrus SIEVE -- Inbox folder routing: Putting spam into Junk folder, etc... Thunderbird plugin supports

All this software can happily coexist on a single box or it can be spread out to handle increasing loads.


Try a web based Exchange alternative like HyperOffice. Robust outlook synching, web based or outlook based shared, contacts, calendars, tasks and folders. Mobile messaging for more than 1700 mobile phones.


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