Ditching Google Apps in favour of self-hosted mail & web

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 17-Dec-2006 20:02

Not that I can find any trace of anyone having similar trouble, for the last 24 hours or so, sometimes my pop access to the service has been intermittent. I love the concept - buy a domain name for $30NZD and point it at Googles servers, and get web hosting and mail (with pop3, smtp and Gmail webmail) all on your domain name. Great idea, completely free, and awesome for beginners. 2GB mailboxes, 100MB or so of free web hosting (although no premium, or indeed standard web host offerings like php, cgi etc etc).

This has led me to re-assess my needs for mail and web hosting, and decided to go the self-hosted route (again), although previous attempted have been half-assed, usually involving a machine that is also used by humans (and therefore subject to constant reboots for new software, and other slow-downs), this attempt will only be quarter-assed, by way of a dedicated machine.

At this stage I am taking a two-tiered approach. With a W2K machine arriving from Trademe with 512MB ram, and 160GB disk space, I will initially run our IRC bot on it (mIRC for Win32), along with Skype to run the cordless dualphones we have here, as well as Microsoft Virtual PC to run Clarkconnect 3.2.

The current version of Clarkconnect is 4.0, but the community (free) edition is limited to 10 mailboxes, which may not be enough for our family which is growing from a technology viewpoint (family members getting serious about mail, and ditching Yahoo!/Hotmail etc.

At some point I will add a gruntier machine into the mix to run Clarkconnect natively, this will be in a month or so, or sooner if I continue to have trouble with network adapters under Virtual PC (Clarkconnect itself runs flawlessly - 4.0 and 3.2 R1). That machine will likely be a 2Ghz machine with 512MB ram, and a boatload of HDD to run as a fileserver, webserver and mailserver - if you have something like this (with or with the HDDs) at a realistic price, let me know - I will get you some cash for Xmas.

Also on the cards is Asterisk. I have the Windows version, but havent really toyed with it. I might look at AsteriskNOW in Virtual PC, with a view to also having a dedicated box for it.

Id really like to be running Windows Server and Exchange - I see value in those products, but I just cant justify the cost involved in setting these up for home use.

# Update 1

It appears the network connectivity problems are merely problems reaching a server from a web browser on a host machine while the server is residing on Virtual PC on that same machine. I can connect from other PCs on the LAN quite happily.

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Comment by freitasm, on 17-Dec-2006 21:19

Try using Virtual Server instead of Virtual PC. It will allow you to run virtual machines without the need to login to the host OS first.


Comment by chiefie, on 18-Dec-2006 08:03

Tony, perhaps Small Business Server be ideal for you. I'm looking to use SBS at home, and I have MS Partner. You can register free for MS Partner and be eligible for MS Partner Action Pak.

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