Caldera didn't think coming up with a messaging server was a good idea. Their customers did."We had clients coming to us with a pretty good description of what they wanted," says Louis Imershein, product architect for Caldera. The Caldera consulting and sales team was hearing from the field that Microsoft's Exchange Server wasn't scaling well for small- to medium-sized businesses. "Especially some of the newer features of Exchange," Imershein says. "That was a big impetus to do it."
So Imershein and his team got busy developing an alternative to Exchange.
A messaging server is integral to the operation of a networked company, especially as the number of workstations climbs to 50 or more. As the name implies, it is a server that handles mail, file-sharing, calendaring, and other "group activities." Clients connect to the server to pick up messages. These clients can be the same brand as the server, but it is not imperative, and the clients can even be running a different operating system, as long as the software uses the correct protocol.
For example, the Caldera Volution Messaging Server is tightly integrated with Volution Manager, a systems management application, so resellers can bundle and sell it to businesses ready to move away from Microsoft. But individual workstations and remote systems can be running Windows client software like Outlook and still connect to and retrieve email from the Caldera server.
Imershein says that although not all of the software is Open Source, customers who need to tweak the features of the messaging server can have access to the source code and make modifications. Caldera has a Professional Services department that can help with development and customization of Volution Messaging Server. After the fact, customers who need help with installation and configuration can purchase their choice of technical support options with the package: 60 days of email support, or six months of email and phone support.
Caldera Volution Messaging Server runs exclusively on Caldera OpenLinux and OpenUnix, which means that businesses interested in using the messaging server will have to install one of Caldera's operating systems. Imershein says that Caldera is investigating the option of porting the messaging server to Red Hat and SuSE for a followup release.