Lead Image © Konstantin Inozemtcev, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Konstantin Inozemtcev, 123RF.com

Fast email server deployments with iRedMail

Email the Easy Way

Article from ADMIN 79/2024
Setting up and maintaining an email service in the data center doesn't have to be a nightmare. The iRedMail open source solution lets you deploy a full-featured email server on a number of platforms in a matter of minutes.

Friends and workmates often tell me that email is obsolete as a means of communication. Everybody is using some mobile messaging app or another these days. Solutions such as Signal Messenger or WhatsApp let users send and receive documents and messages, and they are comparatively free from the spam and scam campaigns that plague the email ecosystem. Thus, I am told, email is irrelevant.

People couldn't be more wrong.

Email is vital for many businesses because it allows them to deliver messages to both customers, employees, and associates by standard, open protocols that are not controlled by a single organization. Servers can be configured to email error reports to a system administrator with every incident, and email is still the most popular password recovery mechanism when somebody forgets the password to their favorite web forum.

This battle-tested communication mechanism is not free of shortcomings, however. Email accounts are bound to receive illegitimate messages containing malware or unsolicited advertisement (spam). Therefore, a modern email service must be equipped with smart filters capable of identifying legitimate mail (colloquially known as ham) and stopping the rest. Another complaint against email services is that they are built by joining many unrelated components that are not trivial to configure. A typical email service needs a web server for hosting both a management interface for the system administrator and webmail for regular users. A Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) daemon is needed to deliver messages to users of different email services, whereas Post Office Protocol (POP) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) daemons let users check email with clients such as Thunderbird or Mutt.

In the face of such complexities, many small organizations prefer to have a third party host their email service, and they end up purchasing plans with email providers such as Google or Microsoft. Family businesses in particular

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