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I have a network of about 30 users. We are migrating from a Windows environment to Macs. We currently have a Windows 2003 server hosting the email accounts with the help of an external spam filter. These addresses receive a lot of spam each day and legitimate emails get caught in the spam filter each day. The current IT person checks the filter four to five times a day.

I have two questions needing some input from someone with experience.

Should we continue to host email internally (with the external filter) from the Xserve SLS or switch to an external host entirely?

If we switch to an external host, which host provides good spam filtering?

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Insufficient detail to give a considered answer. e.g How large do you emails get and can your Internet connection bear the traffic of all these messages constantly being transferred? – John Gardeniers Oct 4 '10 at 4:18

I would recommend using Google Apps. The standard edition is free for up to 50 users, or you can go for the premier version which has very advanced Postini spam protection.

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For the price, the Standard (free) edition of Google Apps is pretty hard to beat.

Do keep in mind that if your internet connection goes down you can't send email, even to people in the same office.

Do also pay attention to their terms of service and SLA's and such like.

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Three questions for clarification:

  1. Does the external spam filter hold your mail if your server is unreachable?
  2. What is your organization's document retention policy and are you subject to any public records laws?
  3. Do you plan to do any workflow management a la Lotus Notes, Novell Teaming, etc? (I'm guessing not, since your server will be OS X and the services are separated out there.)

If yes to #1 then that adds a bit to the internally hosted solution (since you don't miss mail if there is a problem on your end). If #2 is quite extensive, then you might be better off hosting locally since you've got tight control of the data. If you plan for #3, then you'll want to keep e-mail in-house.

Otherwise, as of this writing Google Apps is a stable, cost-effective solution per the other answers.

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