netMail improvements

This was interesting.

One of our clients has a large Exchange deployment (by large, I mean more than 1000 seats) and decided they needed to satisfy another 800 mail users. Rather than immediately double their Microsoft licensing costs, they contacted us to see if we could do anything for them because it was only going to get worse- many of these mailboxes would be webmail-only users, and they had no existing OWA deployment.

Here’s what we did:

  • We created a subdomain netmail.example.com and set up our netMail web based email client
  • We installed a Linux box at the customer’s offices to download their address book using Samba’s net ads search '(showInAddressBook=*)' command and convert the result to VCard files. It then uploads the vcard file to their server here every 15 minutes.
  • Locally, anything in OU=TunnelledAddresses has a mailbox created for it. These addresses, which look like normal global address book entries in ADS simply have names like foobar@netmail.example.com which will tell Exchange to route them outside.
  • netMail is configured to send as example.com for each mailbox.

That’s it! None of these scripts required root access to our servers, which is a good way of demonstrating the flexibility of our messaging system. If you had a spare workstation you could install Ubuntu or Debian onto, you could do this yourself.

Everything you need to do this yourself is in mxtun.tgz, although if you had any questions, you could contact our support desk the usual way.

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