The quest has been given, to determine a good groupware package for where I work. The main component needed is a shared calendar interface. We currently use sendmail on a linux box as an MTA, uw-imap as an imap server, and mailboxes are stored in “mbx” format. For mail clients, we allow any imap client and provide a webmail client from the fine folks at horde.org.
The current version of horde we use has a calendar that is private only. The new version provides many groupware features including shared calendars, however, we are going to look at other groupware products as well.
It’s been basically narrowed down to either Microsoft Exchange or the latest set of Horde apps. One of my techs has set up a test exchange environment and to say it’s bloated is an understatement. Now granted it does a lot, but everything I hear is that most organizations hardly use all of Exchange features. There’s also a huge hardware cost. We do 40,000 email accounts on one dual-xeon 3 ghz box runnign Linux. Apparently we need a farm of several exchange servers to handle that kind of a load. Even only giving 10% of our users exchange would require at least four servers (two front-end and two back-end). Ouch.
Regardless, I have no religion about either platform, as long as the resources are provided to adequately support the chosen platform.
So this blog entry is mainly a place holder to jot down notes and experiences and is not going to be complete. So don’t consider this a formal case study or implementation guide. It will also focus primarily on horde since another tech has done Exchange. Hence it may seem biased towards that product.
NOTE: This is all done on Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4