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The company I work for have a free email-service (like Hotmail/Gmail) with about 50.000 users.

The service is currently hosted by a partner, but would like to know what options we have for setting up our own servers and hosting a web-mail-interface etc.

There are no platform (windows, Ubuntu etc) preferences.

What servers would you recommend?

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closed as not constructive by Zoredache, voretaq7 Jul 27 '12 at 18:19

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Own setup would be too much expensive... Its better to use "Google Apps for Business" ($50 per user per year only) or "Office 365"... – Evil Angel Mar 2 '12 at 9:19
Are you serious ? $50 per user.. he says he has 50000 mailboxes, that's $2.5M per year. – adaptr Mar 2 '12 at 11:16
@adaptr , i just signed in 2 seconds ago just to write exactly what you just did – SKG Mar 2 '12 at 11:17

If you lack experience in mail systems, the best advice I can give you is to consult an expert - or outsource it altogether.

Email is not a trivial subject, and takes many years to master.

That said, you will need hardware redundancy, centralized storage, a load-balanced web frontend, multiple MXes, and load-balanced POP/IMAP servers.

Good luck!

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We are not novices in hosting website/webapps, but are looking for a bit of guidance on IMAP/POP3 servers. – SKG Mar 2 '12 at 11:19
In that case, you're going to need to provide a LOT more information. SF is not a polling or "what-should-I-use" site; as noted in the FAQ, Q&A should be specific and practical. – adaptr Mar 2 '12 at 11:32

50 000 users should be easy enough with Cyrus IMAPd. You can run it with Linux, *BSD or Solaris, at least. I've been administering a Cyrus installation with vast more than 50 000 users since 2003, no problems so far and the server is mostly idle. It supports POP3, IMAP, with both plain text logins and TLS/SSL and more exotic authentication mechanisms, too. With saslauthd you can make it work with stuff like OpenLDAP.

When it comes to Cyrus, one server with enough RAM should be more than enough for your workload. Cyrus loves RAM, but is not very CPU-intensive; in my case CPU usage is hovering under 10%. Get one or two servers more for fault-tolerance and setup for example Heartbeat v2 (or whatever it is called nowadays) for automatic failover with active-passive setup, should something go wrong. Have some kind of shared storage (like SAN) for your e-mails.

For webmail, one server should work just fine load-wise. Get SquirrelMail, RoundCube, Horde, or whatever you are familiar with. Get another server so you get fault-tolerance. Put a load-balancer in front of those.

For receiving e-mail and for authenticated SMTP, Postfix + amavisd-new + SpamAssassin/dspam should be a wonder combo. Use stuff like Postfix-policyd and policyd-weight if you see it necessary.

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