by May 5, 2003 0 comments



The IQuinox suite is a collection of apps that caters to the e-mail and Internet sharing needs of a network. For sharing e-mail there is Postmaster and for sharing Internet access there’s an Internet proxy called Surfconsole that can proxy both HTTP and FTP. The administration and configuration is done through a Web-based interface, which is consistent thorough out and well designed, all the required data is a click or two away. Dashboards (small windows) are also provided to monitor the services that are running. Web interface is hosted on an HTTP server provided by IQuinox, and you can change its port number in case there’s another Web server already running on your network. 

The software starts working right out of the box, which becomes more important given the fact that it’s a Java-based product.

You don’t need to install any Java components separately. The single installation file has all the components needed and doesn’t require any sort of tweaking after or during installation. IQuinox also provides an LDAP service, again with configurable port numbers for looking up an e-mail address book. 

Through the Web interface, a number of parameters can be set such as logging, security and even bandwidth. The administrator can actually bifurcate the available bandwidth for Internet and mails, which is set to 50-50 by default. Security can be configured in two ways–access to all but the mentioned, and vice versa, that is, access to only the mentioned. Such easy configuration is a value-add for smaller networks where you cannot afford dedicated personnel just for managing e-mail and Internet access. 

Snapshot

Price 25 users: Rs 27500; 50-users:
Rs 42000; 100 users: Rs 56500; Unlimited users: 70500
Meant for : Small and medium businesses
Key specs : Share single e-mail id, share Internet access, bandwidth control
Pros : Easy to configure and manage
Cons : None
Contact : QuantumLink Communications, Mumbai.
Tel : 24986445
E-mail : support@qlcomm.com,
support@postmaster.co.in

Postmaster is also available separately, and allows a company to share a single POP3 e-mail ID from any ISP for all its employees. So even though a single e-mail id is used for all mail coming and going to the external world, the mail server is able to differentiate it based on each employee’s Real Name id that are used internally by employees to send e-mail to each other. It uses standard e-mail clients like Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora, etc. A Web-based interface is also provided for accessing the mailbox. 

Postmaster can work over a dial-up link, and can be scheduled to send and receive e-mails at start-up, regular intervals, outgoing queue based triggers or absolute times. Other add on is the delivery notification. This product also claims to have the ability to map users from groupware systems like Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange. The security rules can be set for user access, spam control is done based on sender and auto archiving are other handy options. A plug-in AvAc is installed by default to provide anti-virus support for this e-mail server. A notable option, which is disabled in the user-restricted evaluation version, is the SMS alert. 

Surfconsole is a proxy for FTP and HTTP (socks support also) traffic. The Web interface here again is consistent with the rest of the product and provides similar easy configurability. The options include cache size, user restrictions, etc. One notable feature consistent throughout the interface is the lock/unlock option, which if enabled locks the web interface and works only when the password re-entered. 

The Bottom Line Given the single e-mail account-sharing feature, this product seems a good investment for small network setups using dial up access to the Internet. Features like groupware compatibility also mean that it can be used by a large organization for its branch offices or smaller workgroups, since it can be integrated with larger solutions like Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. Overall, a good buy for small networks.

Ankit Khare

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