Axigen Mail Server 3 Business Edition review

21 Jun 2007

Easy configuration makes this a good alternative to open-source mail servers.

Price when reviewed: 
133(exc VAT) for perpetualmore
5

There are many mail-server applications available today, but while Windows users have a number of options Linux users struggle. Sendmail is an effective mail-transfer agent, but it can be difficult to configure. So it's good to see Axigen's Mail Server taking the pain out of setting up an in-house mail server.

Running under Linux, Solaris or one of the BSD distributions, Axigen can scale all the way from a small office to a sizable ISP installation, supporting a large number of mail domains and users, depending on the type of licence. It supports SMTP, POP3 and IMAP services, and common email clients such as Outlook Express and Thunderbird will operate untroubled. Apart from supporting normal email clients, it also offers a webmail system. It provides customisable wrappers for the Sendmail service and can also act as a relay for selected networks.

SMTP mail filtering can be set up to operate at a number of levels, from the server down to an individual user account. The filtering system consists of a number of components covering acceptance, routing anti-spam and anti-virus scanners, and message rules. Message acceptance is governed by a number of individual policies based on message characteristics such as origin, attachment size and user. Message routing can be used to alter the default processing for relayed and non-deliverable mail. Message rules provide an even more detailed level of control down to the individual user level. There's also a built-in filtering system, which gives yet another level of control over the disposition of messages.

The software also includes options to add additional services. It has specific support for the tried-and-tested ClamAV and SpamAssassin software, and can use other services through the included Amavis interface software.

The webmail client has a simple but effective interface that allows any authorised user to log on and access their individual mail account using any suitable web browser. The uncluttered interface conceals a number of useful extra facilities. These include maintaining contact lists and personal data, as well as defining message filters that can be used to automatically process certain types of messages. Using filters, it's possible to apply special handling to any message from a particular user, or whose subject line contains a specific character string.

The management interface, which uses a web browser, can operate both locally and remotely. Although simple to use, it provides access to all aspects of the software's operation and allows the administrator to fine-tune the configuration to suit individual requirements. Customisable performance graphs are available for most aspects of the system's operation, and the system has extensive logging options that can be configured as required.

Axigen's software is a comprehensive and scalable product that's well worth consideration by any organisation looking to operate its own mail server.