Replacing Microsoft Exchange Server with an open source alternative

Email and collaboration servers are vital to any organisation, whether small or medium in size. ‘Collaboration services’ is an umbrella term used to refer to services which help people inside an organisation to communication. These services include email, calendars, chat etc. Traditionally organisations used to pay hefty licence fees for Microsoft Exchange Server to enable these services – not to mention the vendor lock and the ecosystem lock that come as part of Exchange. Vendor lock means only Microsoft will be able to support Exchange and it decides when the licence support goes away. Ecosystem lock means it only runs on Windows servers and the client support is partial towards Microsoft-based clients only.

Meet Zimbra, an open source collaboration server which provides support for services like email, calendars, wiki, web, instant messaging etc. Zimbra Open Source Edition is completely free and can even be compiled on your own if you like. Like many other open source packages (such as Red Hat Linux), Zimbra also maintains commercial versions of its software with extra features such as Microsoft Outlook support, iPhone sync support, clustering and high-availability support, and technical support. This tutorial covers Zimbra Open Source Edition.

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