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Thread: Moving from ISP hosted email to Zimbra

  1. #1
    yonatan is offline Special Member
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    Default Moving from ISP hosted email to Zimbra

    Hi

    I'm the IT admin for a small accountancy firm (2 users) in Sweden. Lately I have been looking for alternatives to our current email hosting provider, which happens to be our ISP. The main motivation for wanting to switch is that reliability has been a reoccurring problem especially with emails "disappearing", i.e. incoming emails not reaching the firm's users. The ISP is one of the largest in Sweden and I have submitted support tickets several times without any resolution.

    I have looked at Google's premier service Google Apps, but considering Google's privacy issues I'm very hesitant about switching to their service. I read their Terms of Service and although they are different from Google's free service which clearly states that they own your email etc I still don't trust them with the company's email.

    I think that Zimbra might be a good fit and I have thought about running it in our virtual environment on VMware ESXi 4. However, this would require an upgrade to a more expensive broadband offering from our ISP, as the current one does not allow hosting your own email server. Also, hosting the Zimbra service ourselves might be unreasonable for such a small company. Alternatively, I have looked at hosted providers in Sweden and found Redbridge who is on Zimbra's partner list.

    Basically, the users will not take full advantage of Zimbra's feature set, as they will "only" be using the email component via local email apps. Calenders, Address Book etc are all kept separate for each user.

    I have not made any decision yet and would like to hear from the community here what your thoughts are on what I've described above in terms of usage, hosted or not and whether Zimbra is an appropriate solution.

    Thank you
    Jonathan

  2. #2
    raj's Avatar
    raj
    raj is offline Moderator
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    for small install like this and headaces of ISP and hosting restrictions thru your ISP..i should suggest you go with hosted option, below is the link to the zimbra's official hosting partners

    Email hosting and enterprise messaging hosted service providers of Zimbra software

    and Yes zimbra will be a perfect solution for you and will cater to all your existing and future needs

    PS: NO google apps please, if you care about your data/info security


    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

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    Or take a leap and run your own server over a *DSL connection like I do. I agree with Raj though using a HSP would provide a good solution; unless you like to tinker as-well

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    Welcome to the Forums!

    First, full disclosure: We are a Zimbra Hosting Provider but have built and serviced a number of small and large self-hosted Zimbra systems for clients.

    Our experience has been that Zimbra is relatively straightforward to set up, but like any server, requires care and attention to keep it secure and reliable. And like any other complex system, there is a learning curve required to be able to diagnose and resolve troubleshooting issues efficiently.

    You are of course welcome to self-host your own Zimbra installation though many companies of your size, for cost and a variety of reasons, tend to use a Zimbra Hosting Provider.

    Which Hosting Provider to use is up to you. I would however recommend you review the provider's Terms of Service in the same way that you reviewed the GMail terms of service to ensure it provides the protections and service levels you need.

    In the United States, accountancies are subject to a number of laws regarding confidentiality, fiduciary responsibility and the like. To our knowledge the EU has similar laws, so it could be helpful if your hosting provider has a familiarity with those laws to ensure that your firm, just by using the provider's system, does not inadvertently find itself in violation of some such law.

    We are also happy to provide references when prospective clients ask for them; presumably your hosting provider will do as well.

    To be clear, we are not pitching for your business! It's just that, as a former CIO for a global trading company, changing email providers is a big change, and so it makes sense to consider and evaluate the change carefully -- so you only have to do it once this year!

    Hope that helps, and feel free to post back with any additional questions.

    All the best,
    Mark

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    yonatan is offline Special Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by uxbod View Post
    Or take a leap and run your own server over a *DSL connection like I do. I agree with Raj though using a HSP would provide a good solution; unless you like to tinker as-well
    There is already an HP Proliant server in place at the firm that I have setup and maintain. As I mentioned in my first post it's running VMware's ESXi 4 hypervisor, so the whole IT environment is virtualised. Hence, adding a Zimbra virtual machine isn't too difficult except for the restriction by the ISP on running public facing servers with our current broadband service, i.e. ADSL 24 Mbit with dynamic IP. Of course upgrading to a service which will allow an email server to be run with a static IP is merely a cost issue.

    In addition, I have no problem tinkering and learning how to setup and administer Zimbra.

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    yonatan is offline Special Member
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    Mark,

    Thank you for welcoming me to the Forums and for providing valuable advice in this matter!

    I will contact Redbridge who is on Zimbra's Partner list and enquire about their Zimbra hosting service. I have read about the company and looked at their client list. It will be interesting to learn more about pricing, terms of service and what they offer.

    I have already contacted the ISP to get a quote on upgrading the broadband service if I choose to run Zimbra on the existing infrastructure. This will allow me to compare the cost of running it internally versus hosted.

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    Many ISPs here in the United States block port 25 outbound unless you sign up for an upgraded service, but they do allow end users to use the ISP's smtp servers as an outbound relay host.

    Configuring Zimbra to use an ISP's smtp server as an outbound relay host is very easy to set up. If you ISP allows inbound port 25 traffic then you should be OK -- just so long as you are on a fixed IP address and there is a PTR (reverse DNS) record for the public IP address your Zimbra server will utilize.

    If your ISP requires you to authorize against their outbound SMTP servers, you can configure Zimbra to do that by following for example this article.

    You will find all of us here on the forums welcome and indeed encourage new users "tinkering" with Zimbra.

    Hope that helps,
    Mark

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