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Email server for employees

I set up windows on a rackmount form factor pc. I'm the IT administrator at my work and my boss is wanting to save some money on GoDaddy email subscriptions by having our own email server. I've narrowed it down to hMail Server, Zimbra, and Apache James. We want the functionality to be able to view employee's emails, for instance if someone is in contact with one of our competitors talking about confidential information.

 

We have just under 90 emails currently with GoDaddy and are wanting a way to migrate them all over to our own email server whether it be hMail Server, Zimbra, or Apache James, in an easier fashion than doing each one individually. If that functionality isn't there, does anyone here know the easiest way to go about doing this?

 

Thank you very much to whoever's the incredible genius to solve this.

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I would recommend against this. After having the mail on our own server for many years (Exchange), the small cost savings does not hold up against the headaches we had when a server crashed and emails were corrupt. You will also need to setup alot of security systems and certificates to prevent your mail from just being tossed into the spam folder because gmail or outlook could not verify your mail for example.

 

Viewing everyone's email is easy tho, as you can just setup mailboxes to have multiple owners/editors ect.

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21 minutes ago, Dujith said:

I would recommend against this. After having the mail on our own server for many years (Exchange), the small cost savings does not hold up against the headaches we had when a server crashed and emails were corrupt. You will also need to setup alot of security systems and certificates to prevent your mail from just being tossed into the spam folder because gmail or outlook could not verify your mail for example.

 

Viewing everyone's email is easy tho, as you can just setup mailboxes to have multiple owners/editors ect.

I understand you'd recommend against this, however we'll be saving over 7k a year which is worth it to try and figure out how to get this working. We have a Synology NAS we plan on backing up everyone's emails to and putting it in raid 5 or 10 for redundancy, so hopefully that will be enough incase our server crashes.

 

I've heard about emails being tossed in spam if you have your own email server. I was worried about that. What security systems and certificates exactly will I need to prevent our emails from being tossed into people's spam folders?

 

Thank you on the advice for viewing emails though. We still would really like the cost savings of our own email server however.

 

Thank you very much!

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Before making any switch, make sure you, as well as your boss, understand the full legal implications of running your own email server. Let your boss contact a/the company lawyer on solid legal advise here.

"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision"

 

(Faithless, 'Reverence' from the 1996 Reverence album)

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7k sound a bit much for just mailboxes (from your story i gather 90?)

Quick and rough calculation for that: 4 Dollar per user per month = 4x90x12 = 4320 Dollar per year. So thats 2680 saved already from godaddy vs Microsoft Outlook.

Looking at others like strato and such: 100 mailboxes at 180 Euro per month (200 Dollars) = 2400 Dollars per year.

And i'm sure you could find cheaper ones.

 

And yeah, take into account what @Dutch_Master says. Just look at the Clintons :D 

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34 minutes ago, Dutch_Master said:

Before making any switch, make sure you, as well as your boss, understand the full legal implications of running your own email server. Let your boss contact a/the company lawyer on solid legal advise here.

I asked and we're good on this point.

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34 minutes ago, Dujith said:

7k sound a bit much for just mailboxes (from your story i gather 90?)

Quick and rough calculation for that: 4 Dollar per user per month = 4x90x12 = 4320 Dollar per year. So thats 2680 saved already from godaddy vs Microsoft Outlook.

Looking at others like strato and such: 100 mailboxes at 180 Euro per month (200 Dollars) = 2400 Dollars per year.

And i'm sure you could find cheaper ones.

 

And yeah, take into account what @Dutch_Master says. Just look at the Clintons :D 

I appreciate the recommendation of strato and outlook, however we already have the hardware we need for our own email server. Regardless of how cheap the monthly or yearly costs are, we'd still be saving thousands of dollars a year if we hosted our own email server.

 

What security systems and certificates exactly will I need to prevent our emails from being tossed into people's spam folders?

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28 minutes ago, Dutch_Master said:

Here's a full guide for setting up an email server:

http://flurdy.com/docs/postfix/

 

Should include anything you need to know. Has a long revision history (see Editions chapter) ;)

Thank you, so you're saying I shouldn't use something like hMail Server, Zimbra, or Apache James?

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I don't know any of these, so can't judge how well suited they are to your circumstances. But this guide gives you a good grasp of what to do and what pitfalls to avoid. Building and admin an email server is fairly trivial, but understanding the underlying processes makes troubleshooting much easier. And expect some troubleshooting, if only because of failing hardware!

"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision"

 

(Faithless, 'Reverence' from the 1996 Reverence album)

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4 hours ago, David1521 said:

I set up windows on a rackmount form factor pc. I'm the IT administrator at my work and my boss is wanting to save some money on GoDaddy email subscriptions by having our own email server. I've narrowed it down to hMail Server, Zimbra, and Apache James. We want the functionality to be able to view employee's emails, for instance if someone is in contact with one of our competitors talking about confidential information.

 

We have just under 90 emails currently with GoDaddy and are wanting a way to migrate them all over to our own email server whether it be hMail Server, Zimbra, or Apache James, in an easier fashion than doing each one individually. If that functionality isn't there, does anyone here know the easiest way to go about doing this?

 

Thank you very much to whoever's the incredible genius to solve this.

Ditch the idea of building your own email server and just purchase Exchange Online Plan 1 as a Microsoft 365 plan. Benefits of leveraging Exchange Online rather than building your own include:

  • It's SaaS - no hardware or software maintenance (including outage windows) is required on your behalf. You don't need to worry about disk space, network connectivity etc. You're paying for them to handle that.
  • Reliability - Microsoft have already done all the heavy lifting with the infrastructure to deliver a very reliable solution. To try and meet that level of reliability on your own is going to cost thousands in hardware, network connectivity and more.
  • Ease of use - finding people who understand Microsoft 365 will be a lot simplier than any of those other self hosted solutions. Plus, Exchange Online includes support from MS (albeit poor, depending on your service agreement) 
  • Security - native support for multi-factor authentication, self service password reset, complete audit logging and more.

Something else to consider is that if you plan on running the mail server locally, you need to ensure your ISP supports this. Most ISP's will block ports 25, 587 and 995.

 

Upgrading that to Exchange Online Plan 2 will also give you access to Data Loss Prevention (DLP), allowing you to prevent certain data types being sent via email (e.g. PII / financial data) as well as up to 100 GB mailboxes and unlimited archiving. 

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Proxmox has a nice mail gateway system

Can Anybody Link A Virtual Machine while I go download some RAM?

 

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In case it was not already mentioned the cost of certificates can be expensive, especially if you want external access. While you can force systems to trust self signed certificates it often leads to more issues and down time. I used to use a Relay SmartHost by DYNDNS years ago to get around some of the issues mentioned above.

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13 hours ago, unijab said:

Proxmox has a nice mail gateway system

PMG is a security filter that sits in front the email servers.

 

https://www.proxmox.com/en/proxmox-mail-gateway

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