Scalix on Feb.14 at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco will announce the immediate availability of Scalix 10, its enterprise e-mail and calendaring solution on Linux.
Open-Xchange CEO Frank Hoberg said the update will bring more than 100 changes, all of which are designed to improve the products usability and integration capabilities.
For its part, Scalix 10 will be available in two versions: the advanced Enterprise Edition and the free, unlimited-use Community Edition. This is the eighth release of the product, which is based on Hewlett-Packards OpenMail technology.
“Scalix 10 is the most enterprise-ready release we have had so far, and many of its new features are designed to address larger-scale enterprise environments, from high-availability functionality to the interoperability issues that enterprises are dealing with,” Julie Hanna Farris, founder and chief strategy officer of Scalix, based in San Mateo, Calif., told eWEEK in an interview.
The high-availability functionality of Scalix 10 is included in the Scalix Enterprise Edition, but not in the free Community version. That functionality leverages open-source and Linux clustering technology to automatically detect failed messaging services and reroute e-mail traffic to alternate servers, Farris said.
“We leverage the open-source clustering capabilities that come in Linux, with Red Hat and SUSE, so users dont have to have a unique proprietary way of doing high availability from a mail system. I can leverage the same clustering technology Im using for other Linux applications towards my e-mail system,” she said.
There are several hundred customers currently using the enterprise version of the product—which Farris says translates into hundreds of thousands of seats—and the enterprise version is available for purchase at an initial perpetual license fee of $60 per user, rather than per mailbox, with an annual $12 annual update fee per user.
More than 10,000 organizations and companies are also using the free Community version. “Half of our customers have migrated off Exchange, while the rest have moved off IBMs Lotus Notes/Domino, Novells GroupWise, Sendmail and others, where they are looking to upgrade functionality. Our customer base and revenue grew more than 250 percent between 2004 and 2005, year on year, and we expect similar growth going into 2006,” Farris said.
Scalix has also seen a large increase in partner numbers, which rose from 30 to 100 in the second half of 2005, she said.
Scalix 10 and the
Year of the Calendar”>
Scalix 10 includes ScalixConnect for Novells Evolution, an open-source e-mail and calendaring client that runs on a Linux desktop, and which has full interoperability with Microsoft Outlook, Farris said.
The product also enhances Outlook support with digital signatures, an advanced rules wizard filter and, on the wireless side, a streamlined user interface, multitasking client and background synchronization.
Scalix 10 also brings cross-platform calendar interoperability, using iCal, giving users transparent exchange of meeting requests and responses between Scalix and e-mail systems such as Exchange, Notes/Domino and GroupWise.
“I believe 2006 is going to be the year of the calendar, because it has now moved into the collective consciousness as something that is very important. As a result, the fact that interoperability with calendaring systems is so poor is becoming more apparent. You should have the same type of interoperability with calendaring systems as you do with e-mail,” Farris said.
“Many Scalix customers are in fact using SWA exclusively, foregoing the cost and complexity of deploying desktop e-mail clients altogether,” she said.
Finn Schultz, the vice president of IT at Rezidor SAS (Radisson) Hospitality, based in Brussels, Belgium, is one such customer. “SWA provides all of the functionality that most people today are used to in a fat client e-mail environment, yet in a lean and well-designed Web user interface. Scalix lets us combine an easy-to-use user interface with an open back-end platform,” he said.
On the server side, Scalix 10 now supports the ability to host multiple Scalix domains on a single server, making it attractive to service providers looking to offer a hosted solution.
It provides 64-bit support for Fedora Core, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux 10 operating systems, enabling the Scalix server to take advantage of the increased memory and CPU power enabled by these systems, Farris said.
With regard to the companys open-source strategy, Farris said that while Scalix was based on a full, open-source stack and had a certification program for a range of mail-related open-source solutions that allows customers to deploy a full open-source environment, it is built on HPs OpenMail technology, which it licenses.
As such, it is unable to open-source that code, she said, adding that in those areas where Scalix does new development, as with the Evolution connector, it is making this code open source. “We are talking to HP about this situation and our hope is that in the future we can change that limitation and make more of our code open source,” she said.
But Dan Kusnetzky, the executive vice president of marketing for Open-Xchange, based in Tarrytown, N.Y., told eWEEK that an increasing number of customers were looking for a fully open-source product and architecture that would allow them to choose and install the technologies they wanted going forward, not one that was based on proprietary technology.