When Written: Feb 2010
VERDICT: Kerio has moved its messaging solution up a notch. Its ease of use makes it a serious contender for your company email solution
PRICE: From £340 exc VAT for 5 users – £18.20 per user after ( in 5 user packs)
Kerio with anti-virus/spam 50 users £1,172.50/year (source Kerio )
Gordano Collaboration with anti-virus/spam 50 users £ 2,274.25 (subsequent years £ 765.05)( source Gordano)
Exchange Server £ 3,240 ( to be confirmed by MS )
SUPPLIER: www.kerio.co.uk Tel : +44 1223 202 130 ( Sales)
Windows 32bit and 64bit
Mac OS X
Linux: Red Hat, CentOS, SUSE, Debian and Ubuntu
VMWare and Parallels
When a company renames one of its well-known products the danger of confusing potential customers has to be weighed against any benefits that might come from the new name. Kerio has done just that by renaming its well known Mail Server to Connect 7. The reason: to better reflect that this software is much more than just an email server. Customers now use their email system for more than simple messaging: they demand more collaborative features.
Kerio’s aim is to make this product suitable for organisations with teams in multiple locations around the world including mobile users. So how do they aim to do this? First as has always been the case Kerio Connect will run on a large variety of platforms. New is support for Apple’s Address book server in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and others with CardDAV support for synchronising address books.
Connect 7 can also now work multiple domains and share schedules, mailing lists as well as free-busy information across multiple servers on multiple domains. A particularly neat addition is the Message Submission Service, which is a secure system for sending email via SMTP but over port 587. The need for this is because often the default SMTP port 25 is blocked in hotels, so sending emails from such locations can be tricky.
Better support for multi-session IMAP is now include phones like the iPhone send IMAP commands in parallel over multiple sessions rather than one at a time, this gives improved performance as long as your mail server can hadle this way of communicating. Talking of mobile devices Kerio Connect now offers over-the-air synchronisation for most mobile devices (see table). Blackberry support is via the third-party add in, NotifyLink. As Blackberry connectivity is of prime importance to many key workers in an organisation it would make for a more complete solution if this Blackberry connectivity was built in rather than relying on a third party product and the compatibility problems that that might bring with future versions.
The administration pages are now fully web based which again makes remote management easier, rendering the previous console application unnecessary. I feel that the administration web application is easier to follow and understand than some competitor’s offerings. There are less tab dialog boxes within each other we found the headings more logically laid out and generally it was easier to find the option you were looking for.
Connect 7 has all the usual features that you would expect of such a messaging system with McAfee anti-spam, and anti-virus built in although you can order it without these and install your own favorite . One new feature which will please overworked administrators is the ability to automatically delete old email items after a certain time to make space.
As Kerio moves into the areas of multiple server, mobile messaging and full collaboration its competitors become some of the big boys on the block but Kerio holds its own against these both of functionality, performance and price. The installation procedure is particularly easy with the ability to examine the various log files in the web tool so that diagnosis of any problems with DNS and the like can be found quickly.
Previously when we compared Kerio against Gordano we felt that it was more suited to the smaller number of users. This no longer seems to be the case and with simpler product line up and easy setting up Kerio should be on your shopping list.
EASE OF USE: 5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4
The all important backup routines are built in to the admin web application
Anti Virus and anti spam is built in although other systems can be used instead
Kerio Connect is the latest incarnation of Kerio’s mail server program but with lots of extra functionality
[Graphic: wireless.jpg caption: Like others the mobile funtionallity offered does depend on your device]
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton