• Low cost Internet Firewall and mail server
  • Use Outlook, Outlook Express or any Windows mail client
  • Target and stop viruses and spam
  • PPTP and IPSEC remote access
  • Web Based Groupware
  • Free/Busy Scheduling for Outlook
  • Simple browser based administration
  • Control over employee Internet access
  • Avoid monthly ISP per mailbox charges
  • Far less costly than competitive Microsoft solutions
  • SME related Articles here.

 

 

Read the reviews:

InfoWorld

Customer Quotes:

Words can't express how much this one product
has significantly and positively affected the
stability of our information systems environment.
Desktop virus software is almost unnecessary. 

Confused about having Internet and Email access? See Mail and Web Servers.

Or just call or write with your questions and concerns!
 


 

SME Server V5, from Mitel Networks (formerly E-Smith Server)

The SME Server V5, (formerly E-Smith Server) from Mitel Networks, is an inexpensive Linux based Internet gateway, firewall, and more. It has been recommended by Network Computing, CRN, Linux Journal and other publications. It's easy to setup and administer, and includes many features that are useful for small to medium size businesses. Optional services such as server based E-mail virus scanning are also available.

You don't really have to understand any of this if you don't want to. There's very little administration required once your system is initially configured, and we can help you completely with that. See the Q & A section for common questions we get from concerned business owners.

Or just call or write. We're happy to discuss your concerns and answer your questions.

I investigated and used many other systems before settling on this. There are a number of reasons why. First, I like that the product is Open Source. While I don't expect these folks to go out of business soon, it's nice to know that the system is also available in source form.

I also like that the design allows and encourages customization. With most proprietary systems, you can't add features unless they have those features available. With this, you can usually add Linux packages very easily. This also means that upgrades and security patches are easy to implement.

Most of all, I've appreciated the high level of professional support that I have experienced with this product. I can flatly say that I have never seen such commitment to support with any other product I sell.


 
 


 

Features

The SME Server V5 (formerly E-Smith Server) is a nicely packaged Linux based server that can replace or be an alternative for Microsoft Exchange. It is administered through a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape. No Linux or Unix knowledge is necessary for day to day administration.

This is a high performance, very secure mail server. Virus scanning service stops Windows viruses before they even reach the PC's. Mail clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape, Eudora, etc. can access mail through POP3 or IMAP, or you can use the Webmail interface from any browser.

The server is also an Apache web server with the ability to host multiple domains.

The Squid proxy server offers cacheing efficiency, and the ability to block access to objectionable sites.

The standard VPN support uses the Microsoft PPTP or IPSEC clients- no extra software to buy. The optional, subscription based IPSEC server to server VPN is ideal for branch offices to be connected over the Internet with no client software on the Windows machines.

Most ordinary configuration (adding users, etc.) is done through a web browser interface. If you need to make custom firewall rules, etc. that's done from the Linux command line; see https://www.e-smith.org/custom/ for an overview of that.

Because this is Open Source Red Hat Linux, and not a closed, proprietary appliance, you aren't locked into the capabilities provided by the base product. There is a large world wide community of E-Smith users and they have developed many add-on packages. See Mitel's Developer's site for more information.

Don't pay ISP mail box charges!

Many ISP's charge you per mailbox- if you have 30 email addresses, you have to pay for each and every one. When you have your own server, at most you'll pay ONE mailbox charge, and you may not have to pay any.

See Why run your own mail server?

See https://edocs.mitel.com/6000_SME_Server/smeserveruserguide/English/admin-useraccounts.html to see how easy it is to maintain your own email accounts- and have as many as you want!

We provide sales, installation and support on your equipment or we can sell you a fully configured system. A complete system, ready for you to plug in, is typically about $700.00 for the hardware (tape backup extra, see below for software pricing). If you want to run this on your own hardware, you need a 400 Mhz or better CPU, 128 MB of RAM, and 6 GB of diskspace, plus one or two supported NIC cards- a very inexpensive system nowadays.

See Mitel's SME Server Web Site for detailed product information.

There are also SME Server V5 resellers all over the world- contact Mitel Networks for the address of someone near you. Some also advertise their services at our consultants page.
 


 
 

Q & A

More questions about the technical details? These FAQS will answer many of your questions: https://www.e-smith.org/faq.php3
and https://www.e-smith.com/FAQ/

On-line manual: https://edocs.mitel.com/default-6000SBAP.htm
 


 
 

Pricing

Product Support Virus Scan, Spam Control etc. Cost
Downloaded version None No (free)
Base System (25 users) 1 year Yes $ 895.00
Additional 25 users 1 year Yes $ 200.00
Additional 100 users 1 year Yes $ 595.00
Branch Office VPN 1 year Yes $ 200.00

You can download the free product freely from ftp.e-smith.com. The downloaded product does not have support for virus scanning or any of the other extra cost services. You also (of course) get absolutely no support of any kind with that- you are on your own.

Please don't write to me looking for support on the downloaded version unless you want to upgrade to a supported version. Support is very reasonably priced, just a few dollars per day.

Server based virus scanning stops viruses before they get to your PC's. Nothing to install on the desktop PC's, updates itself automatically.


 
 

Support

Your support is provided by your reseller, not directly by Mitel. Generally the reseller will answer most questions directly, but does have access to Mitel support as needed.

Customization of the Server

One of the core advantages of the SME Server is that it is both a simple and functional package out-of-the-box, yet readily customizable to meet the specific needs of partners and customers.

Of course, this extensibility raises an interesting question when it comes to technical support: "What does Mitel support, and what voids the warranty?" While the product is inherently extensible, and Mitel encourages customization of the software, it is not commercially reasonable for us to provide technical support for work done by others. We believe it is the responsibility of parties making customizations to stand by their work.

Mitel supports all unmodified installations, and any upgrades and patches that we release. In addition, Mitel provides technical support for approved customizations to the SME Server. Mitel will also support server capabilities on customized servers, but may decline support if we believe that customization is contributing to the issue.

Supported customizations of the SME Server take one of two forms: software blades or configuration tuning. Software blades are bundled packages that add new functionality or alter the functionality of the existing server. In the context of technical support, blades are divided into three categories: unsupported,approved, and supported.

Unsupported blades are blades that have been developed by a third party and have not undergone any of Mitel's quality assurance programs. We welcome these contributions but feel it is the responsibility of authors (or their licensees) to support this work. Approved blades are blades that have been through the Mitel Blade Certification program. This program examines blades for their level of integration into the SME Server architecture, and seeks to ensure that installation will have no unanticipated side effects that might affect service levels. In essence, we have examined these blades to ensure that they do not interfere with other software.

Mitel supports the installation and de-installation of approved blades. Note, however, that we do not support questions regarding the configuration and operation of these new blades. Supported blades have undergone the highest level of Mitel quality assurance. These blades have been examined not only for correct integration with other blades and the rest of the system, but for correct operations and ongoing manageability.

Mitel supports the installation, de-installation, and the configuration and management of supported blades.

A final area of customization is that of configuration tuning. Wherever appropriate, Mitel has attempted to make its standard product configuration-driven. That is, the behavior of the SME Server is controlled by settings in the configuration database. It is possible, and intended by design, to modify the behavior of the SME Server in a number of ways by adding, deleting or changing various configuration database settings.

Mitel fully supports such customizations (where performed in accordance with Mitel-published documentation), and is working to better document the available configuration variables and allowable values, along with their effect on server behavior.

Software Upgrades and Updates

Mitel supports all SME Server-related products for a full year beyond the end-of-life for that particular product release. We encourage all users to upgrade their servers on a regular basis, but recognize that this is not always convenient or risk-free, and that such upgrades should be carefully planned to ensure there is no loss of data or functionality. On the other hand, each new release brings with it bug and security fixes, as well as new functionality. Clearly, a balance must be struck between stability and currency.

We believe that providing support for a full year beyond the end-of-life provides a reasonable safety net, while still encouraging regular software maintenance of all servers. When a problem reported to support has been identified as having been resolved by a patch, Mitel may insist on the application of that patch to the affected server(s). We will continue to produce patches for all supported product releases.
 
 

Testimonials

Customer Quotes:

Words can't express how much this one product has significantly and positively affected the stability of our information systems environment. Desktop virus software is almost unnecessary. 

Customer Quotes:

We used to get a lot of viruses. Another person and I would spend days fixing the problems, because once a virus got on to our network, it would spread very quickly through e-mail. We put in the new server and the problems just disappeared. I can't tell you how many viruses it has saved us from. 

Customer Quotes:

Tony spent a few minutes with me, and I think I phoned him once for some advice. After that, it was easy. We used to have a SCO Unix server. The e-smith [Mitel Networks] server is much easier and faster. 

More customer quotes: https://www.e-smith.com/customers/

InfoWorld Review: https://www.infoworld.com/articles/ne/xml/02/02/25/020225nelinuxfire.xml

Linux Magazine gives SME Server V5 a 5 star review!.
 
 

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