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Thread: Ubuntu server for our company?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    26

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    I may well try to run our own mail server then on ubuntu server, the only thing is that the email solutions you mentionned seem to charge quite a bit for the features that I'm after, hate to keep bringing up exchange server but its kinda the benchmark I'm looking for, I'd like to be able to sync calender, mail, contacts...etc with my pocket pc which seems to be a costly addon for zimbra, and a third party plugin for citadel that only does mail(i think).
    Am I right in thinking that small business server 2003 is only 200 quid (googled) or are there loads of nasty hidden prices. If so I'd steer towards a sbs 2003 server and a ubuntu for fileshare but I'd love to get ubuntu to do all of it granted the reputation for stability and the fact that I've poured enough money into ms's pocket for the meantime!!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Hills CA
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    8,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    You can try setting up some "Web 2.0" services. For instance you could have an internal web server that hosts 3D videos of your creations. When visiting a client, you could log in and demo your videos. This allows a quick way for anyone in the company to dump files without going through the pain of updating the official website.

    You could set up a Tracks server for project management, Wordpress for blogging with your customers during design iteration. Sugar CRM for contact and business management.

    Other ideas:

    Photo Album Hosting--more detailed pictures of current or completed projects
    Text-Messaging/Blackberry Server for the receptionist
    In-house internet radio--the plants need something to listen to
    Asterisk, VoIP, SIP, Skype, Ekiga, or other video/voice conferencing
    Custom applications (internal-web-based) for generating permitting forms or other routine business forms
    backup print servers
    nightly workstation file backups
    Google Sketch-Up repository for client interaction

    In Web 2.0 you are creating and hosting the content to share with others (your clients) or internally (your coworkers). You are limited only by your imagination.

    Instead of replacing existing services, think of new services that can be helpful in your business.
    -------------------------------------
    Oooh Shiny: PopularPages

    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    26

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    those are all awesome ideas tgalati4, if all this is achievable on ubuntu I think I may just have to throw myself out there and do it!! The file backup part is very important, I mean we all work in network folders anyway, on the nas units, never on the local machine but still, would be nice to make sure everything is backed up.
    Oh and the internet radio thing is something that I have actually thought of before, just have no idea of doing, I worked at a place before that simply had a machine that you could add tracks to the playlist and was a nice touch to the whole atmosphere of the studio!!

    I think we can easily cope with not having exchange the more I think about it. The only thing that I'm slightly concerned about is our extensive use of onenote, possibly one of our most useful tools. What I want to achieve is when we are out of the office either at home ...etc but connected to internet, we can still work on onenote notebooks together. Its weird how it works but basically everyone can work on the same notebook at the same time, and all the syncronising happens 'magically'.
    So say we have the notebook drive, mapped as N, is there anyway that the n drive works exactly the same when we are out of the office?

    Thanks for all the feedback guys!!! This is really helping my decisions!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
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    200
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    excellent post tgalati4. Those are some great recommendations. I'm a big fan of web based applications, b/c it allows great flexibility when it comes to the way you work.

    I think we can easily cope with not having exchange the more I think about it. The only thing that I'm slightly concerned about is our extensive use of onenote, possibly one of our most useful tools. What I want to achieve is when we are out of the office either at home ...etc but connected to internet, we can still work on onenote notebooks together. Its weird how it works but basically everyone can work on the same notebook at the same time, and all the syncronising happens 'magically'.
    This sounds like a VPN would be your best bet. This way when your working remotely, you can connect the office, and open that file from the NAS unit. I'm not sure you've seen Zoho Notebook, but its web based as well, and is a competitor to OneNote. That may be an option.

    One other recommendation I'd like to make is the ebox platform. Its a coporate network management tool, which allows you to manage your network via web interface. You can manage samba shares, firewall, VPN, printers, and a host of other features.
    Last edited by MystaMax; October 24th, 2008 at 05:35 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Beans
    1,508

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    You can run the services you want off an ubuntu box. The only one that will be that hard to set up is the mail server. You have lots of options for network storage, and they shouldn't be too bad in terms of setup. Same thing with VPN. Mailservers are more complex, though. There are really 2 parts to a mail server, the "sending" part, ie sendmail, postfix, etc, and other part, IMAP/POP3 solution. On ubuntu it's really easy to get basic postfix working, just install the packages, put in proper info. (At least that's worked for me.) In fact, postfix shocked me in terms of how easy it was to get working. However IMAP has been extrememly problematic in my experience. My boss said it took him about 2 weeks to get the mailserver at my job up and running the way he wanted, but I guess he had to configure a lot of anti-spam features that were a bit finnicky. So basically the other tasks should be easy to set up in a day or less, but it sounds as though a propper mail server takes more of a time investment.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    381

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankduck View Post
    Am I right in thinking that small business server 2003 is only 200 quid (googled) or are there loads of nasty hidden prices.
    I believe you have to pay a per-seat licensing fee for each user that connects to each server. I do not know what that fee is, but I know there's something.

    There's probably also a fee you have to pay if you want it to work during full moons, and a "convenience" fee.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Hills CA
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    8,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    I'm not familiar with onenote, but I use zim across several machines including remotely. It's a simple note-taking program that allows html-style linking. Because it updates on the fly, you can have several people working on the same note (assuming it's on a central server) and the changes magically appear on every instance. It's creepy actually.

    Sugar CRM is quite extensive--I'm just getting into it, but I'm sure it has some similar capability.

    http://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/

    I use conduit for linking/syncing files across networks and devices.

    http://conduit-project.org/

    The important thing is to add services in an incremental fashion. Don't try to replace existing services right away. Set up one machine with a few services and leave it running. Uptime is important--don't forget to use an UPS. Set up a second machine to experiment with because you will break it/crash it several times trying to get new stuff to work. Once you have a new service configured the way you want it, and with the reliability required in an office, then migrate that service (and its precious configuration files) to the uptime server.

    Expect pushback from coworkers. It's a mistake thinking that you can simply dump Outlook/Exchange with a collection of open-source equivalents. Instead, add new services that don't currently exist. After a while these new services will become vital to your business.

    In the meantime, check out the new version of Tracks (1.6):

    http://www.rousette.org.uk/projects/

    Good luck!
    -------------------------------------
    Oooh Shiny: PopularPages

    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Beans
    26

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    Ok, today I have taken the leap to do all this, have installed on 2 boxes, ordered all the hard disk's ...etc to come tuesday and looked into all the awesome applications and tools you have all recommended.

    Now for the noob question.....does ubuntu server have to be all command line? Is there a way of running the server with gui?

    Sorry, am used to a point and click adventure when it comes to computing.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Beans
    26

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    ok, looked into it and basically reinstalled everything again, but when I got to the end of the installation I went back to the choose what to install bit and added ubuntu desktop, is this the right way to get the gui on the server edition?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Switzerland
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (testing)

    Re: Ubuntu server for our company?

    why do you want a gui on a server anyway?

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