How many people to admin a Cyrus system?

Gary Mills mills at
Fri Nov 9 09:45:38 EST 2007

On Thu, Nov 08, 2007 at 05:05:39PM -0600, Blake Hudson wrote:
> Gary Mills wrote:
> > We have a moderate-sized Cyrus system for 30,000 students and 3000
> > employees. ... I know that CMU and other universities want
> > to maintain their own e-mail systems.  What's the justification in
> > these cases?
> >From a security perspective, you maintain control and privacy of your
> and your user's data. This is one of the main reasons why many people
> run their own services, not limited to mail (www,db, instant messaging,
> etc). Whether it is the perceived value or because of other obligations
> with regard to privacy/security this alone is often justification to
> maintain a mail server in-house. There's also the business perspective
> of cost, especially cost over time.

Thanks everyone for your responses.  I don't want to clutter up this
technical mailing list with more management issues, although I'd
certainly be pleased to receive personal e-mail on this topic.

There appear to be two types of outsourcing.  The Google example was
one where all of the e-mail resided on an external site.  In addition
to the issues mentioned above, there is authentication and
backup/restore to consider.  For all of those reasons, I don't think
that this type will be suitable here.

The Zimbra example, however, was one where a contractor was hired to
install a new e-mail system at the university, and to do the migration
and management.  This one I could see happening here, so that people
with programming and development skills would no longer need to be
kept on staff.  That seems like a bizarre idea to me.  It's
essentially outsourcing the employees.  Since there are no problems
whatsoever with the existing Cyrus system, I suppose that contracting
with a company to maintain and manage it might be better than just
abandoning it.

-Gary Mills-    -Unix Support-    -U of M Academic Computing and Networking-

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