Friday, August 21, 2009

What comes around goes around

In previous posts I indicated I was leaning away from an all-in-one server solutions like e-box, ClarkConnect or SME Server. My rational at the time was they were too big and inflexible for home use. Having set-up a phone system for my brother-in-law and now looking at the prospect of setting up an email, print and file server for his growing practice I want something that I can easily manage remotely. The web-based interface of these solutions make that pretty easy over a VPN connection but what happens if the VPN goes down? I am going to have to talk someone who is 1100 miles away though diagnosing a problem and getting the system back up and running. The last thing I want to do during this call is to have to talk someone through a bunch of command line kung-fu.

I burned images of ClarkConnect 5.0 and SME Server 7.4 and have been evaluating them. For some reason I cannot get comfortable with the ClarkConnect 5 web interface. I guess it really does not matter because the 10 free user account cap is a deal killer. Per the Clark Connect website:

"By default, the Community and Enterprise Editions include 10 accounts that have groupware/mailbox functionality. The Enterprise Edition is upgradeable to 250 users (in units of 5) by purchasing additional mailbox licenses from Point Clark Networks."

I have SME Server 7.4 loaded on an old Dell OptiPlex GX110 and it is running fine. The interface has a dated feel to it. It seems to have all the feature that my brother-in-law is immediately looking for and has additional features he can grow into.

e-box looks like it has been under heavy development since the last time I looked at it. I plan on downloading it soon. The interface looks great and it may give SME Server a run for its money.

1 comment:

Walter said...

I also read your last post and i liked it. You have great knowledge of VPN and good this is that you share this that is best part i think. Thank man!!

What is VPN