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IT Guy
Ow, My Balls
Premium
join:2004-07-29
Las Cruces, NM
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

[seeking] Hosted Email Recommendations

Our company has had one hell of a time trying to find a reliable email host. We have been through 4 Linux-based hosts from The Planet, Bluehost, Green Dedicated Host - which was dedicated (formerly Apollo Hosting), Sector Link and a local ISP. Our budget is limited as most of the "employees" are actually independent contractors. They pay the brokerage a fee, for tech. services out of their commission. We really do not want to increase that fee given the current state of the housing market, which in turn creates a hardship on the REALTORS in our offices.

Our main issue is finding a host that can manage our volume of mail and connections at a reasonable price (say somewhere lower than Google Apps' $50 /user /year, a solution we are considering). We currently have about 100 email accounts, 50 forwarding addresses (half of which do not have active mailboxes on our server, but only pass the email along to another address) and about 30 distribution/mailing lists.

We currently use Postini message security in conjunction with our server and to manage inbound spam and virus quarantine and looking at our volume on inbound ONLY from Feb. 7 - March 20, we had close to 400,000 total messages inbound, approximately 90% of those messages were blocked as blatant spam/virus-containing emails, and incoming data of approx. 300 GB during that time frame.

Unfortunately, I don't have figures for outbound traffic, but I know it is on the high-side as well. Having said that, this is a real estate company and contracts are being tossed back and forth, as well as inspection reports which are often very large in size and not sent in a more efficient file type to reduce the overall size of the file. Unfortunately, most people within this company as well as service providers such as inspectors have no idea that sending a 20 MB attachment via an email can cause massive problems for both the sending and receiving party.

Given this information, can someone suggest a hosting provider? It would definitely need to be a dedicated server.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!
--
Don't worry, scro. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives.


removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40
Does it have to be an email specific service? A dedicated cPanel server can be had for a few hundred bucks per month and would allow you to essentially do whatever you want. The spam filtering with a cPanel box won't be nearly as good as what you'd get from Google Apps, but when considering you can buy a nicely specced cPanel dedicated server for $150-200/month (compared to ~$416/mo for Google Apps), you can likely invest some more money into a better spam filtering solution.

Have you tried to contact Google about a discounted rate for the Google Apps service? 100 mailboxes should be enough for them to give you a decent deal compared to the $50/box regular rate.
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irc.removed.us - #dslr

mikefxu

join:2004-10-05
Titusville, FL
reply to IT Guy
Any reliable linux hosting/email provider and AppRiver spam service. AppRiver is $1 per person per month. Their service works great. False positives are almost non existent, most users don't even check their quarantine.


IT Guy
Ow, My Balls
Premium
join:2004-07-29
Las Cruces, NM
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to removed
What you described is essentially the same setup as we had previously, with the exception of using Plesk as the interface. The specs weren't all that spectacular for the server, but I figured it would have been sufficient, it wasn't. That hosting solution used SpamAssassin, which we had bypassed and replaced with Postini (by Google) to handle the spam. That company had gone through a restructuring and was starting to become more stable when my boss told me we were switching hosts again.

Fast forward to today, we have a local company that hosts and designs our web page, they offered about 9 months ago to host our email for us (at no additional cost), things were going well until about 2 months ago when they decided to migrate our stuff to a better server that had more RAM. Then all of the sudden, we start suffering from the server going down randomly, at least once a week. This company uses ThePlanet.net to host a dedicated server with cPanel. I have a feeling they could figure out the problem, but have instead decided to wash their hands of it, saying they can't handle the volume.

I have asked Google about discounted rates, but they are holding firm at $50 /user/year. Which still isn't bad for a service that more closely resembles enterprise-class service than what we've had previously and is far less than hosted Exchange. I'm still waiting for responses from other hosting companies, so we'll see where that goes.
--
Don't worry, scro. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives.


IT Guy
Ow, My Balls
Premium
join:2004-07-29
Las Cruces, NM
reply to mikefxu
Yes... It's the "reliable" part that seems to be the issue here.


MineCoast
Premium
join:2004-10-06
127.0.0.1
reply to mikefxu
said by mikefxu:

Any reliable linux hosting/email provider and AppRiver spam service. AppRiver is $1 per person per month. Their service works great. False positives are almost non existent, most users don't even check their quarantine.

x2. I'd also recommend AppRiver POP/Hosted Exchange as well.

mikefxu

join:2004-10-05
Titusville, FL
reply to IT Guy
I would recommend our current shared hosting provider Atlantic.net . The price is right, have had very few issues, maybe have to call them once per quarter. They have their own data center, people answer the phone and they are American.

»www.atlantic.net/Additional-Serv···ing.html


Defiance82
Computer Elite
Premium
join:2002-09-11
Burlington, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by mikefxu:

I would recommend our current shared hosting provider Atlantic.net . The price is right, have had very few issues, maybe have to call them once per quarter. They have their own data center, people answer the phone and they are American.

»www.atlantic.net/Additional-Serv···ing.html

Doubt that would work.The OP stated he uses at least "300GB" per month. The top plan there only offers 100GB. Out of the question.
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Affordable Web-Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Ventrilo, & Teamspeak services since 1999 @ »www.deadlyservers.com

mikefxu

join:2004-10-05
Titusville, FL
I believe that number included 90% spam. With AppRiver the host would never see the quarantined mail unless the user released it.


IT Guy
Ow, My Balls
Premium
join:2004-07-29
Las Cruces, NM
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to mikefxu
The disk space is considerably low with this service and my past experience with VPS hosting has pretty much ruled this option out for the level of service we require. While we only have a handful of Webmail users, they would gobble the 50 MB up quickly. And practically everyone leaves messages on the server for at least a two-week period. I'm looking for more of an enterprise solution, closer to Google Apps offering. But thanks for your suggestion all the same.

So far, Apps is at the top of the running form me. I've looked at ixwebhosting.com, ipage.com and spamsoap.com and so far I'm not seeing anything with these hosting companies that fills me with confidence in their abilities.

Ixwebhosting.com has some good packages, but all sorts of conditions for support issues that I simply can't agree to. Their enterprise class comes pretty close to Apps' annual cost.

ipage.com isn't robust enough to meet our needs, from the information I gathered.

Spam Soap might be an option, but so far, Google is the front-runner if the boss agrees to it.
--
Don't worry, scro. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives.