This product is not for the faint-hearted. It is, according to the developer, intended for very large enterprises with complex email requirements. Its legacy traces to Eric Allman, who old-timers know as the inventor of the open source sendmail program, a staple on just about every Unix and Linux system in the world. That pedigree is obvious in this program from Allman’s commercial company, Sendmail, Inc.

Mailstream Manager is intended to run in a few very specific Linux and Unix environments, including Red Hat ELAS, SuSE SLES and Solaris. The logic given to us by the developer was that large companies don’t use Windows for their email systems. Nonetheless, when one visits the Sendmail website, one finds that a Windows version for Server 2003 is available. The vendor, however, did not provide that product to us for review.

Implementation of Mailstream Manager is relatively straightforward if you are used to working with Unix or Linux. Once the software is installed, further configuration and operation is through a web interface. However, a good knowledge of Unix/Linux command line is important to a successful implementation.

We viewed Mailstream Manager largely as an email management platform. It has several optional hooks that allow a variety of anti-virus, anti-spam and other add-ons, and it is only with these add-ons that the real power of the product can be realized. This product sports a very powerful policy engine, and that engine is not limited to security management of email.

Documentation is quite complete, but is somewhat difficult to navigate. The PDF files are well organized, though, and a few minutes browsing through is useful.

There are several support options ranging from simple support during the work week to one-hour immediate response 24/7 for large enterprises.

Mailstream Manager is priced appropriately for a product targeting large enterprises. Pricing is based on annual subscriptions on a per user basis. This tops out at $6.63 per user per year. Support programs range from 19 percent to 30 percent above the subscription price.