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IBM debuts email server for ISPs

Big Blue's new Scalable E-Mail Server allows ISPs to add hundreds of thousands of new electronic mailboxes quickly and cheaply.

IBM (IBM) today announced a program aimed at easing email congestion for Internet service providers.

IBM's new Scalable E-Mail Server allows ISPs to add hundreds of thousands of new electronic mailboxes quickly and cheaply, using IBM RS/6000 servers with a suite of email software from Soft-Switch, a division of IBM subsidiary Lotus Development.

The Scalable E-Mail Server will be available in third quarter. Pricing was not immediately available.

IBM said Soft-Switch's ISP messaging package is based on its experience in large corporate email settings. The Scalable E-Mail Server will be sold as a product that ISPs can buy, install, and operate. IBM Global Services, Big Blue's own Internet access service, will integrate the same capabilities into its network.

ISPs can start with configurations that support any number of users, then add capacity for new mailboxes as needed. The messaging system has built-in redundancy and disaster-recovery capabilities to ensure round-the-clock availability.

Scalable E-Mail Server supports Internet email standards--including SMTP, POP3, and IMAP4--and allows seamless email exchange with X.400 and legacy mail environments. Users can easily redirect email messages or unwanted mail, obtain multiple mailboxes per account, and forward messages.

For outsourcing corporate messaging services, the product lets ISPs offer separate domain names, unique mail addresses within the domain, delegated email administration, and enforcement of message quotas. The server also integrates with X.500 directories.

IBM also plans future ISP offerings for security and managing subscribers, community-based services based on the Lotus Domino platform, and Web storefront hosting offerings based on IBM's Net.Commerce family.