Even though I use Microsoft Windows Server 2003 at work, I’m an unabashed Novell fan.
This is a total geek-out post, so if you’re not into server operating systems or e-mail systems or if up-time doesn’t matter in your world, ignore it, okay?
Now, for the few of you who are left, let me emphasize, I am a total Novell fanboy. I mean, I totally drank the Kool-Aid on this one, okay? I don’t have a Novell tattoo or anything, but I have been a Novell Certified Engineer since Jesus was a baby. And, I’ve maintained that certification through the years, even though I have to admit, we’re kind of hitting the law of diminishing returns here.
Novell’s e-mail solution is called Groupwise. It started out life as something else, but it’s been improved to a very reliable, stable platform that was actually pretty easy to maintain. Of course, that’s relative when it comes to e-mail packages, but it was a good trade off between ease-of-use and robustness that made it a really nice solution. And, obviously, it integrated very cleanly into the rest of Novell’s network management systems. So, once it was all setup right, you could make a user and a new e-mail account in pretty much the same step. I loved it.
Naturally, there was always a rivalry between Novell and Microsoft. They each fired shots back and forth about who had the better, more reliable product. Die-hards like me always argued in favor of Groupwise. Guess what? It turns out, we were right! Google did some testing and polling and compared e-mail packages. Naturally, they came out as the most reliable system, though, if they lock your account, good luck getting it unlocked again. But, go to their blog entry about their e-mail findings and scroll down until you get to the graphic. Go ahead, click the link and look at the graphic. I’ll wait.
Did you notice the shortest bar, next to Gmail? Yeah, Novell’s Groupwise.
Groupwise, on average, has half the down-time of a Microsoft Exchange system. Half! And, I bet if you loaded it in a multiserver configuration, or even a Linux server, that number would drop even more. But, still, half as much downtime as Exchange!
So, why don’t more people use it?