OS X Server advice please


I have a friend that I am slowing converting to the mac platform. He is head of IT at a medium size hospital and got him looking into the mini to replace some of his desktops. He is presently getting frustrated with his exchange server and outlook combination. He keeps looking at os x server and wondering if it will handle the task better. His concern is what is in place for the calendar sharing how well webmail works and migration from exchange server to os x server. If anyone is versed in some of these issues and can help me out and get his questions answered we may be able to get another good switch.

Thanks in advance all.

The real question here is what functionality he wants from the Exchange server compared to OS X Server's Mail capabilities. OS X provides a robust, standards based email server, which in 10.4, includes SpamAssassin and ClamAV bundled in, so that you don't have to install the packages yourself.

If your friend is looking for calendaring features and such groupware products, there are two products that you can install on your Server to provide such functionality. One is Open-Xchange, which you can build on your server. Its open source and free, so those are two advantages, but it is quite a bit of work to get up and running. The second option is Kerio, which is licensed, but does include tools to migrate your E-Mail server from all kinds of MS Exchange servers. I'm not aware of the cost to this solution, though I'd gather its less than Exchange licensing... :)

Those are three good options to use, including the built in Server functionality, which is what I currently use to run my company. As for Mac Minis, they're good machines, though the iMac G5 has many advantages, especially if you don't have monitors, keyboards and mice that you want to use.

Where is this hospital located, anyway? :)

Hope this helps!
jncrow said:
If anyone is versed in some of these issues and can help me out and get his questions answered we may be able to get another good switch.

Thanks in advance all.


I have posted a lengty reply on this issue on another thread (whitehmill). Just check it out.

Although i have no experience with migrating from exchange to os x mail, i understand that if you have mbox files, this should be quite easy (i have done a migrating from 10.3.4/9 to 10.4.1) and i can share a script doing it to you.

Configure the whole mail part requires about 5 minutes of time. By LDAP you can share userinfo over multiple systems, so my fileserver shares its user accounts (including passwords) with the mailserver (currently a macmini). You can create seperate accounts for tot access and mail access only.

Webmail works fine also, my employees (and some customers) have a login and password on my mailserver and use (like myself on holidays) it for reading their email.

If you wish, send me an email and i can create an account (and instructions on accessing it), which he can use to look around in the webmail area. Also it is possible to use webmail browsers from others to look into the mail (as long as you can specify the address for the mailserver).

We use mac os mail programs (with mainly imap, but also with pop3) as well as outlook (express).

The system is very stable and remote access is not a problem (using e.g. ssh).