Product Reviews

Email for the Masses

Mailsite offers Web based email that can be used for small- to mega-companies.

MailSite is a Windows NT/2000 mail server that is rather unique in the mail server space. It is designed to serve the needs of just about any site. MailSite has a proprietary database that can be used if storage requirements aren't vast. As well, it can use any SQL database for high-end storage needs.

MailSite comes in five flavors: MailSite Express (Web-based email), MailSite Workgroup (up to 500 mailboxes), MailSite Department (up to 5,000 mailboxes), MailSite Enterprise (50,000 mailboxes), and MailSite DataCenter (100,000 to 1,000,000s of mailboxes). MailSite Express is included with the other four versions, and for this review I evaluated MailSite DataCenter.

This product is one of the most scalable mail servers on the market today, and offers easy upgrades from each version. This allows an organization to purchase and configure lower-end versions and gradually upgrade as needed.

MailSite DataCenter isn't a Unix port, but was instead developed from the ground up as an enterprise mail solution. With its multithreaded and multiprocessor-capabilities, it can find a comfortable home on just about any Windows 2000 hardware platform.

Another MailSite strength stems from its administration interfaces, which include a dedicated console (Figure 1), a Java management console (Figure 2), and a Web management Console (Figure 3). User mailboxes can be stored in the Registry, Windows NT/2000 User Directory, and in a SQL database. The SQL database (not included) doesn't need to reside on the same physical system as MailSite. This allows the databases to be stored on either Windows NT/2000 or on powerful Unix systems, which enables incredible scalability.

Figure 1. MailSite Console

Figure 2. MailSite Java Console

Figure 3. MailSite Web Console

MailSite DataCenter also has a feature-rich, Web email interface (Figure 4) similar to Microsoft's Hotmail service, which allows users to access their mailbox from anywhere on the Internet (assuming that you provide this option).

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Figure 4. MailSite Express Web console.

The features offered with MailSite DataCenter are too numerous to include in this short review, but whatever feature you might need, this product probably has it. Rockliffe is also responsive to user feedback and has made numerous changes based on customer feedback. Some features of note:

Support for standard Internet protocols (including SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, LDAP3, and HTTP)

Clustering support (with the database server residing on one system and the mail store on another)

Security (with features, such as authenticated SMTP, validation of address against a real-time blacklist, and rejection of messages by IP address, domain name, or email address)

All in all, MailSite DataCenter is an extremely powerful and scalable mail solution for Windows NT/2000. It was hard to find anything wrong with it, except for the price, but that price isn't steep for millions of users. If you're looking for a simple to install, end-user, scalable mail solution, you need to evaluate this product. A 30-day evaluation version may be downloaded from www.rockliffe.com/common/trial.asp.

About the Author

Barry Shilmover, MCSE+I, MCT, owns Shilmover Consulting Services, a Microsoft Solution Provider specializing in Windows NT/2000 and Exchange 5.5/2000 solutions. He has co-authored books that include Windows 2000 System Administrator’s Black Book and Exchange 5.5 Exam Cram, both from Coriolis Press.

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