[OT]: Dual email management systems

Matthew Saltzman mjs at CLEMSON.EDU
Thu Jun 28 21:52:33 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-06-28 at 13:20 -0700, Paul Lemmons wrote:
> The company I work with uses Exchange as its primary email system. We 
> are about to have to move from 2003 to 2007 and we are experiencing some 
> very $ignificant $ticker $hock at the prospect. We have about 4,500 
> mailboxes of which probably 500 are actually using the features of 
> exchange.
> What we are considering is installing a second, FOSS, email system for 
> the vast majority of our people to give them "basic" access. I have not 
> decided on which FOSS email system to use yet but that comes later. My 
> question today is, is anybody else successfully doing this?

I don't know about "successfuly" (and IANASA--I am not a sysadmin--so I
don't have deep insight into that side of the process here), but we are
in the middle of rolling out Exchange alongside a traditional e-mail

> Some of the requirements would be:
> 1) It would not matter which system managed your mail, your email 
> address would be the same. This is the one that is giving me the most 
> grief in trying to figure out. How would a message know which system to 
> go to? The prospect of managing alias tables in sendmail do not appeal 
> to me at all.

This is tough.  Exchange is serious nanny-ware--apparently, it insists
that it be the master mail server for its domain, and it has no facility
to auto-forward or to set the sender to another domain.  Here's our
hack, AIUI:

(1) Our main mail server is (I think) sendmail plus an IMAP server.

(2) We have an automatic alias-table manager.  There's a Web page that
users can visit to set whether they get mail in Exchange, IMAP, or both,
or elsewhere.  Mail is forwarded from the main server to wherever the
user wants to read it.  I don't know where we got that feature--it may
be home grown.

(3) Exchange users have a separate e-mail address.

(4) Exchange users cheeky enough to want to set their return addresses
rather than reply-to set up a send-only account that sends mail out via
our SMTP server.  They need to watch out for the address they use for
outgoing mail, though.  Occasionally, mistakes are made.  (If I make a
mistake, my mail won't go to the list, so if you don't get this message,
you'll know I messed up...)

> 2) There would need to be an integrated or shared global address book. 
> Anybody should be able to find anybody else regardless of email manager.

We are using the Exchange global contact server for this.  We also use
the Exchange calendar service for shared calendars.

> 3) Though not a requirement, it would be nice if a person could 
> "graduate" from "basic" to "advanced" with a minimum of hassle.

Lotsa luck!  Actually, our Windows users are mostly moving to Outlook,
whatever they choose for reading e-mail.  It's not a big change to
switch mail reading styles if you use the same client.  Most of the
other features of interest are enhancements.

> Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
> -Paul

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