Email server software works with a kind of web hosting dedicated to the management of email accounts and servers. Regular web hosting provides users with predetermined amounts of bandwidth and space to host websites. However, email hosting is geared toward providing reliable servers for email alone, using specialized software.
This is why it is critical to prepare a list of requirements to use in determining what product is most suitable. One way to accomplish this is to review each vendor generated comparison as to functionality. This can be a very time consuming task, which is why a hosting company professional could be consulted to help you sift through the various offerings to arrive at the best decision possible.
Product Architecture and Integration
Email server software may be required to integrate with other types of software, such as through an API. This is why assessing the email server architecture could be very important. The architecture is integral in order to determine how effective the email server will support multiple users. For example, some solutions utilize an internally generated queuing mechanism that routes messages between the connectors.
Capacity Planning and Scalability
Email servers need to be appropriately adaptable to each organization. Determining the capacity of the solution involves finding out how many users the product supports on your hardware and what kind of hardware is required to support the number of users you have, including expected growth.
Product support is critical in determining email server software purchases. Examine how support costs will affect the Total Cost of Ownership. Support could be provided on a contract or per incident basis. Some vendors may offer low cost solutions, but their support is expensive to maintain.
Also consider response times. This information is sometimes available through posted reviews, however, it is important to consider the source of statements made by those posting the information. Be sure to thoroughly review the support policy before making any purchasing decisions.
The email server software should not be too complicated to install and administer. Default settings must be configured so that it is quickly ready for use. The best products usually have an installation wizard built in that logically guides users through the process. The administration program should also be simple to use, with an intuitive interface.
Email software security is a very important issue to consider. Every day, new viruses, malware and trojans are released that can greatly compromise computer systems. This is why the solution needs to be protected against spam and other forms of abuse by unauthorized persons.
The application must also require authentication to protect against unauthorized access. Vendors should have a system in place to identify security issues. Also, vendors must be responsive and provide resolutions timely.
Migrating email from one system to another can be costly. Depending upon the installation size, it may take a day to plan and then migrate the server over. In some instances, labor expenses for migration can amount to more than product and licensing costs.
Configuration ideally should also be open enough for users to easily migrate the messages and data from the new platform. For example, some products may be easy to import to, however, have a difficult system to migrate from.
Updates and Upgrades
Email server software requires regular updates, as well as upgrades to ensure that the solution employs the latest features available. Upgrades and updates are critical to an effective email system operation. Therefore, the costs for these services should also be determined so that there is no misunderstanding.