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Sendmail takes software to IBM mainframes

The company has released a version of its e-mail server software that can run on Linux-powered IBM mainframe computers, it plans to announce Monday.

Sendmail has released a version of its e-mail server software that can run on Linux-powered IBM mainframe computers, the company will announce Monday.

Sendmail, which includes proprietary extensions to the open-source Sendmail software, will announce the availability of several e-mail software packages at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The software packages let administrators house e-mail boxes, screen out particular types of attachments from messages, append text to messages, or set up e-mail access through Web pages or mobile devices.

Sendmail competes with e-mail software from Microsoft, IBM, iPlanet and others. Hewlett-Packard sells a package called OpenMail but has ceased its development.

Sendmail for the zSeries mainframes will have the same cost as for Unix servers, said Wiley Hodges, Sendmail director of product management. The core product costs around $1 to $3 per mailbox, depending on how many mailboxes are used, while Web and mobile access costs about 60 cents to 20 cents per mailbox.

IBM will jointly market and sell the product, Hodges said.

Among the companies using the e-mail software on a mainframe is Maine clothing retailer L.L. Bean, he said.

IBM has been backing Linux on its mainframes and its three other server lines, in part as a way to let the slow-moving world of the mainframe computers benefit from the comparatively large number of programs that run on Linux.

In one benchmark test, IBM found that it was possible to house 2 million e-mail accounts on a single server, with 10 percent of the users accessing their mail at any given moment, Hodges said.

Sendmail had been offering the mainframe version under a promotion.