Zimbra, Exchange Replacement?

Zimbra is an open source server and client technology for next-generation enterprise messaging and collaboration. Zimbra delivers innovation for both the administrator and the end-user as well as compatability with existing infrastructure and applications (both open source and proprietary). Zimbra is open source in order to leverage the collective talent of the greater community, and to ensure investment protection for Zimbra partners and end-users.

Zimbra combines the best features of Exchange Server, such as centralized file storage and collaboration tools, and GMail, most notably their AJAX-powered interface. The compatibility list contains some of my best friends: Outlook, Mobile, IMAP, POP, iCalendar, RSS, Active Directory/LDAP. AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML, which allows web sites to act much more like applications by changing their content without reloading. GMail is a notable example of this kind of web interface. The Zimbra demo will give you a good idea of how well it runs.

Could we replace Exchange server with Zimbra? Perhaps, but since Zimbra is only in beta and an Exchange server license we would use for four years will cost us about $2,000, I’m not yet prepared to take the plunge.

One comment

  1. Shalom says:

    Zimbra’s educational price is $8/user, and for students, much less than that.

    Also, Zimbra hosting providers like <a href="http://www.01.com">01.com</a> have discounts to help educational, not-for-profit and governmental institutions get started less expensively.

    It might be time to reconsider Zimbra.