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Run your own cloud


Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© December 2015 Anthony Lawrence

2015/03/19

I've had a number of customers ask about putting Kerio Connect "in the cloud". I can help with that if that's what you want, but here I'd like to offer an option for consideration: running your own cloud.

Let's back up for a moment and talk about why you'd be considering clouud services to begin with. No doubt it is because you don't want to maintain a physical server: the hassle of hardware and software upgrades is too difficult. That's understandable, but if you turn all of that responsibility to someone else, you will be paying dearly for the convenience. Hosted email runs at least $35 - $50 per year PER USER. It can be and often is more. A 100-200 user Kerio system with a terabyte of storage might cost $15,000 per year. That's far, far more than what it costs you to maintain your own server.

Of course you are getting a lot for that premium. You no longer have to concern yourself with hardware issues, network connectivity, power failures or OS maintenance. You will still have user issues to deal with, though - you are outsourcing the server, not the user support. You might still think that's a reasonable price, but if you don't, there is some middle ground.

Kerio admin SMTP settings

Self hosting

I run my Kerio mailserver at Linode.com. There are plenty of similar hosting sites to choose from: Amazon, Rackspace and many more. I don't need a lot of horsepower or disk space, so I can use a $40 a month plan from Linode.com that gives me 96 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM on a 40 Gbps link. That's more than enough to run the small Kerio server that I need. The cost for 384 GB of disk and 8 GB of RAM would only be $160 a month. You might need more than that, but they can meet any cpu and storage need. You won't have to maintain hardware, power or network connections, but you will still maintain your Kerio server and the Linux operating system.

That's not difficult. I log in regularly and run these two commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade --show-upgraded
 

That's all it takes to keep the OS up to snuff.

Initial setup is just as easy. They have great documentation and friendly tech support. They can also provide backup and load balancing if you need it. All in all, this option provides most of what "hosted email" gives you at a fraction of the cost and of course I can assist you in migrating and getting it all working smoothly.

When all is said and done, you maintain all the advantages of having control of your email but have released yourself from the concerns of physical hardware and have spent far less money than you would by completely out sourcing email.


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of iCloud

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course

Take control of Apple TV, Second Edition





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