When Written: May 2008
VERDICT: Gordano has improved on its web mail interface and is a worthy and cheaper alternative to Exchange Server now.
PRICE: from £2074 for 25 users ( Kerio £539 for 30 users )
1000 users full version £ 46,382 ( Exchange Server £ 103,699)
SUPPLIER: www.gordano.co.uk Tel : 01275 345100
Windows operating systems Windows Vista Windows 2003
Windows 64-Bit Windows XP
Unix Operating Systems
When choosing an email server for your organisation, there are many things that need to be considered apart from the obvious support for POP3 and IMAP, and everyday the list gets bigger. Do you need Blackberry support, IMAP IDLE or other methods of ‘pushing’ emails to your user’s mobile devices? Do you need calendarising and collaboration features? Do your users just use Outlook to handle their emails? Or do you have to support Mac / Unix users? Will your users want to use a web interface to handle their messages and will they also want to handle their appointments via this interface? In this day and age you should also consider Anti-virus and Anti Spam facilities although these could be added as third party additions, if preferred.
One other consideration may also be the operating system that your mail server will run on and will it support clustering for resilience in the event of a machine failure if required? OS support will depend on your in-house expertise as ideally your email server should sit on a machine of its own rather than share with other line-of-business applications. This is because any external attacks or viruses will probably come in via your email server so if you can separate this box from the rest of your network it can make things easier to maintain later. At least that way a denial of service attack on your mail server will not stop your ecommerce web site from running for example. If you choose the windows platform then an obvious contender for handling your messaging requirements would be Microsoft’s Exchange server, and unsurprisingly this is the product that has become the standard that others compare themselves to.
This review is about one such competitor: Gordano, a British company, has just released version 15 of its email and messaging sever. There is not space in this whole magazine for an in-depth look at all its features as there are so many. Gordano pitches their product firmly against Microsoft Exchange, but with the ability to run on almost any platform and with a much lighter machine requirement per user.
So how does Gordano compare with some of its competitors? One previously PcPro Recommended product, Kerio has very similar features but it would be fair to say that it is more suited to sub five thousand users. Gordano will, for example, support 100 users on a 450Mhz CPU with 4G Hard disc and 256M of RAM, whereas Kerio requires 2.8G cpu with 200G hard disc and 2G of RAM ( specifications taken from manufacture’s own web sites ). Gordano will handle 100,000 users without having to cluster servers. whereas even Exchange server will not scale this far on a single server, although in a real world with this many users on a mail server you would want to build in some sort of resilience, having a single point of failure on such a large system like this is just asking for problems. Gordano GMS offers a huge range of features with extremely advanced and flexible set up options, whilst keeping the basic install procedure easy. The anti spam measures are particularly impressive, with all sorts of options to cater for the ever increasing spam payload.
If all you require is a basic mail server then Surgemail at $1817 for unlimited users may be a way to go. But in this day and age many users require more advanced capabilities from their messaging system as many companies use this for their main work flow and project information store, they also need to be able to access it via a variety of devices without compromising functionality. If your needs are sub 250 users then Kerio may a better value proposition, however for a full featured, ever improving, messaging suite capable of handling hundreds of thousands of accounts on minimal hardware then Gordano’s GMS takes a lot of beating.
EASE OF USE: 4
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton