Linux-based PostPath server looks to supplant Exchange

Updated server boasts capabilities to support migrations, faster data replication and a 'bottomless' user mailbox

Messaging vendor PostPath has upgraded its Linux-based replica of Microsoft Exchange server with new capabilities to support migrations, faster data replication and a "bottomless" user mailbox.

PostPath Server 2.2, which shipped on Tuesday, now includes tools designed to help small and midsize businesses move off Exchange entirely. When the server was launched last year, the company touted it as a drop-in replacement for Exchange servers, such as those in branch offices, and as a way to reduce the cost of an Exchange infrastructure.

PostPath is designed as a replica of Exchange at the network level so it looks just like Exchange to other Exchange servers and to other software that plugs into the server such as Outlook, Active Directory and third-party applications including RIM's BlackBerry mobile gateway.

PostPath says its server's support of open standards will provide users with more options in selecting third-party products for messaging environments such as storage or antimalware software.

"To be blunt, people looking at Exchange 2007 don't think it addresses their core issues," says Duncan Greatwood, CEO of PostPath. "Their core issues rotate around the data store, the Jet database, and how difficult that makes it to manage data. They want to use reasonably priced storage instead of high-cost storage."

With PostPath 2.2, the company has Exchange Free Mode, a set of tools and extensions that support a staged migration off Exchange designed to take advantage of current Exchange routing topologies that companies already have in place.

PostPath has also beefed up its support of Public Folders, an Exchange feature that is being phased out with the 2007 version of the e-mail server and the introduction of Office SharePoint Server 2007 as a network document repository.

PostPath also has introduced the concept of a bottomless mailbox that allows users to turn off mailbox size quotas and support up to terabytes of e-mail storage. The company also has added support for a wider variety of Active Directory configurations and extended support for remote offices with enhancements to replication of data.

PostPath 2.2 is priced at US$60 per user. PostPath also offers a free 12-user version of its server that is feature complete and can be run in production.