OSS Authenticating proxy, mail server, simple file server and webserver as easy as 1-2-3

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camdeboo_ito
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OSS Authenticating proxy, mail server, simple file server and webserver as easy as 1-2-3

Since there aren't any blogs up yet I thought I would post this tidbit here:

I have worked quite a bit with smaller municipalities and have come to understand the pressures from the need to perform under budgetry constrains.

Many simply do not have the budget to add qualified IT to their staff capable of running Exchange, IIS and the like properly. Or purchase another expensive server just for internet control.

Well there is a solution, and guess what; it's FREE!

The software is ClearOS (available from http://www.clearfoundation.com/). It is Linux based, though completely configurable through a web interface. No knowledge of Linux is required as the entire setup is of a point and click nature through a web interface.

More advanced support such as improved SPAM filtering. system monitoring and the like, but in the 4 years or so that I have been using ClearOS and its forerunners I haven't had the need.

Our current setup at Camdeboo has ClearOS running as our mail server (offering secure SMTP, POP and IMAP and SPAM and AV filtering), internet gateway (requiring user authentication and providing advanced firewall options), FTP, and Windows file sharing for when a backup fails.

It runs on a standard PC with 2GB RAM and serves around 150 users.

Anyone lookng for help or more information as to how to integrate this into their network is welcome to contact me by email. (chris@camdeboo.gov.za)

Yours in technology

Chris

Re: OSS Authenticating proxy, mail server, simple file server an

Cool!

diegroothammer
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Re: OSS Authenticating proxy, mail server, simple file server an

@camdeboo_ito I like the technology. It sounds quite interesting. But what if you can get the same services as what ClearOS can give you, without EVER needing a server AT ALL!  I think local municipalities should rather look into technologies like this.

These techs are Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS for short, and one of the best and cheapest options are Google Apps.  Google Apps gives you full email functionality, Postini SPAM filtering, up to 10 years email archiving, a 25 GB mailbox, Calendar options, Document upload, creator and management, website and intranet site creator, mailing groups, and much much more.

This is the pure definition of cloud computing, and with internet bandwidth getting cheaper and faster in SA, this is also the future.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Nino
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Re: OSS Authenticating proxy, mail server, simple file server an

Hi All,

Just my thought. I came from the private sector as an IT consultant and I am now in local government for about 5 years. Well, clearOS is not the only free option available out there, but there is something that smaller municipalities must take into account.

When using free/open-source software, you need to be able to support it yourself, otherwise you will end up spending more on support costs to specialising companies/service providers. So if you not fimiliar with linux, dont even think of going the open-source route in a production environment. Yes, I do know that you get tons and tons of forums that will sort out most of your problems. This is very cool in a test environment, but not suitable in production. You can easily find yourself spending endless hours or even days trying to figure out a simple proxy issue.

So as a firm supporter and user of open-source, I would suggest you start in a test environment, make sure you know linux (not KDE - bare server commands) and if possible get someone who's a phone-call away and dont charge you an arm and a leg. You can easilly pay R800/h for linux support.

Now on the flip side of a proxy.... Microsoft ForeFront TMG: Approximately R4000

Can run on a standard core2duo pc with enough drive space and maybe maximum RAM with WinServer 2008 64Bit.. Lets say approximately R15000

Setup : Free (its just to easy to still pay someone)

So for approximately R20000 you can have a fully functional proxy, without having to spend hours configuring it and if you run Active Directory you can integrate user management. Now R20000 at our municipality requires only 3 formal quotes, no advertising, point evaluation etc. Get 3 quotes and you're done. Now measure that up against spending R20000 on the next party or gatherings we normally have.

One option is free, but ou risk having an out-of-the-box solution, which can take days to configure and the other option have initial costs, but can be configured in an hour.

So, measuring monetary value, its open for discussion which is cheaper, but you need to assess your environment in total and then determine what risks can you take.

Just my thought on this... By the way, I'm using ClearOS - now try integrate users via LDAP to AD... Bummer! Switching to TMG as soon as the harware arrives.

Regards

Nino
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Saas is great, BUT not the

Saas is great, BUT not the solution for LM's... The cost is just to high at this point, especially for LM's with limited budgets.

It would be nice to know how many municipalities are using SAAS and what they are using, their experience, estimated costs and MOST importantly the issues they've had.

camdeboo_ito
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I agree Nino. This soution

I agree Nino.
This soution can cost under R6000, making it very affordable!
SaaS is probbably that a month??

Christopher Nash

Camdeboo Municipality | Cacadu District | Eastern Cape
Tel:        049 807 5859 | Cell:       076 099 0163 | Skype:&n

Nino
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With the discontinuation of

With the discontinuation of Microsoft TMG alot of municipalities are facing issues in serving users with internet. Not just TMG, but after the "heartbleed" issue, alot of proxy servers are battling to resolve site that has been patched, especially https sites.

I've been working on a solution with a Korean company and so far it is working great. Users have direct access to the internet, in other words, no proxy in between and this system then controls traffic depending on the policies you apply. Because it is not using the old "proxy pass" methods, it serves websites much faster and no matter how the internet changes in the future, it can not affect the way this system serves websites. Another nice added feature is that you can no allow a user to use any browser, without having to worry about security - For example, we didn't allow firefox on our network, because any clever user could install a "proxy bypass" extension and open our network to security risks. With this new system this is no longer an issue.

It even tracks mobile/smartphone/tablet browsers and enforce policies to these devices - All this without installing anything on the user side...

This system is currently running in a company with over 20000 users worldwide and its doing all monitoring from 1 server in the USA!

If anyone wants more info, let me know.

Nino
http://ictjurist.canblog.co.za

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