Sendmail Sets Sights on Open Source

 
 
By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-04-04
 
 
 
BOSTON—Messaging company Sendmail is looking at open-sourcing more of its technologies, including its commercial administration tool, Sendmail Switch MTA, and its Sendmail Mailstream Manager.

"We are looking at open-sourcing those products that we believe will bring innovation to the open-source community and create a level of excitement going forward, but also that can create some value-add that we can leverage," Sendmail President and CEO Richard Kreysar told eWEEK.

The process of identifying products suitable for open sourcing is at an early stage and will likely take three to four more months to complete.

This is because Sendmail is looking at how best to ensure those products can be maintained going forward and what the value-add is likely to be. "The Switch and Mailstream Manager products are the most likely candidates, but no decision has been made in this regard," Kreysar said.

Sendmail, headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., is also looking to create some policy tools that help leverage its mail store, which holds e-mail, voice and instant messages, and which allows searching across the platforms.

In addition, Sendmail is getting the message out that it is an agnostic company, particularly with regard to deployment and the other platforms on which its products run. "We know that companies want deployment flexibility, and our goal is to give them just that," Kreysar said.

Part of Sendmails strategy is to partner with other companies to provide a more comprehensive solution for customers. The company has already licensed e-mail firewall patents from Tumbleweed Communications and has held talks with other messaging companies such as Scalix, which could potentially front-end its store, he said.

Click here to read how a recent Sendmail vulnerability threatened some e-mail servers.

Those goals are underscored by the announcement Sendmail will make here at the LinuxWorld Conference April 4 that its e-mail control and management products will be available under the ECOSys banner going forward.

The products, ECOSys Commander and ECOSys Directory, will be supplemented with a new product, ECOSys Auditor. They are all designed to help organizations control and secure their e-mail networks, adhere to compliance guidelines and dramatically improve their e-mail transaction diagnostic and response capabilities.

"At the most basic level, organizations face enormous complexity managing, optimizing and auditing their e-mail networks. The real power of ECOSys is providing this capability for heterogeneous assets in the messaging infrastructure like Microsoft Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, Ironport, Mirapoint, Ciphertrust, Symantec and McAfee, in addition to the Sendmail product families," Kreysar said.

ECOSys Commander provides centralized management for administration and reporting, while ECOSys Directory uses LDAP to consolidate policy and optimize e-mail performance and integration.

For its part, ECOSys Auditor is an e-mail auditing solution that provides the ability to quickly aggregate, retain and mine log data for troubleshooting, forensics, governance, compliance and advanced reporting.

This announcement also supports Sendmails vision of uniting e-mail security with operational management and delivers immediate access to actionable log information from Sendmail and other applications like Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Ironport, Mirapoint and McAfee, Kreysar said.

"These moves also underscore the fact that Sendmail is more than a Message Transfer Agent, while this broader range of products also gives us greater flexibility to work with the open-source community going forward," he said.

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