Secure email with IceWarp mail server 10

Ice Age


In addition to the easy migration of POP-enabled email servers, the manufacturer also provides tools that enable administrators on Exchange Server or Kerio MailServer to migrate to IceWarp. IceWarp mail server is either managed in a Windows management console or via a web-based management interface, similar to Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2010. Command-line tools are also available for management. Unfortunately, the IceWarp mail server does not support PowerShell commands.

Like Exchange, IceWarp also supports autodiscovery for mail client configuration (Figure 4). Users need only enter their email address and password in the client. The appropriate application automatically sets up the connection to the server. This means users do not need to enter an IP address or server name to connect to the server. The autodiscovery feature can also be extended to smartphones. This function is configured in the management console.

Figure 4: Automatic mail client configuration is managed in the management console.

Besides Outlook, users can work with other clients, like iCal, Thunderbird, Sunbird, or Novell Evolution. Because the server also supports CalDAV, WebDAV, and GroupDAV, companies have many options. IceWarp has licensed Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft, which means all current types of smartphones, through Windows Phone 8, can be connected quickly and easily with the Microsoft protocol in the same way as with an Exchange server.

Besides the Exchange ActiveSync technology, the server supports the open source alternative, SyncML. As in Exchange, mobile devices can be deleted or locked out remotely via the server. The server includes a dedicated desktop client that works similar to Thunderbird (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The IceWarp server provides its own web interface, similar to Outlook Web App.

All interfaces are translated into more than 20 languages, including English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese. The web interface supports the right mouse button throughout and is largely intuitive.

Because many companies use Outlook, the manufacturer offers a tool with which the server can connect to Outlook. Outlook Sync works with current versions of Outlook and supports installation on Remote Desktop servers (terminal servers).

With the plugin, users can manage their email, appointments, contacts, tasks, notes, and journals directly in Outlook, but the data is stored on the server and thus also available for other clients (e.g., if users want to work with the web interface on the road). Synchronization between Outlook and the server runs automatically in the background. Users can also copy their own mailbox settings, office messages, rules, and sorting settings from Outlook using Outlook Sync.

Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Journals

Besides email, IM, text, and VoIP communication paths, the server also lets you manage appointments, schedule events, and reserve resources, just as in Exchange. Users can use tasks and notes on the IceWarp mail server. In addition to Outlook, the server also supports other clients (e.g., for FreeBusy or iMIP). Users can share their mailbox data with other users and assign rights, and IceWarp has a global address list like the one used in Exchange.

Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus Protection

The IceWarp server package also includes an anti-spam module, as well as anti-virus protection. Although Exchange also offers built-in anti-spam protection, it is not popular in the enterprise world and is rarely used without another solution on top. Unlike Exchange, IceWarp has an anti-virus solution based on the Kaspersky engine (Figure 6). Microsoft offers built-in anti-virus protection as of Exchange Server 2013.

Figure 6: IceWarp server provides anti-virus protection based on the Kaspersky engine.

Anti-virus protection is not free, though, and must be licensed. Companies that already use their own anti-virus gateways can buy the server without virus protection. For example, a license for 100 users without anti-virus costs about EUR 2,400; anti-spam and anti-virus protection puts the price up to EUR 3,100. These functions are managed directly in the management console; no separate tools are required.

The anti-spam module uses various technologies (Figure 7), such as the open source SpamAssassin software. If the server classifies an email message as spam, it puts it into the spam folder of the user's mailbox – clients can still access this folder – and the server automatically updates its definition files in the background.

Figure 7: IceWarp server provides built-in anti-spam protection that is superior to protection offered by Exchange.

IceWarp also has an integrated intrusion prevention solution that detects frequent attempts by email servers or users on the Internet to establish a connection. IceWarp can then block the IP addresses of the assumed attackers. The settings for this are already in place, but administrators can always make adjustments. Because the setup does not enable this protection by default, admins must invest in some manual work for optimal server protection.

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