- Client : Al Buhaira Insurance, Sharjah
- Activities : Insurance
- No of users : 40 in main office and 30 in the branch offices
- Active domains : www.albuhaira.com
- Internet gateway : ADSL from Etisalat
- Client OS : Mix flavors of Windows
- Contact person : Paul
- Designation : System administrator
- Contact information : 050 5878425 (mob), 06 5174444 (off)
- URL : www.albuhaira.com
The requirement was to provide file, print, proxy, fax and email services. Majority of the users are based in the Sharjah Head office with the others based in the branch offices in the other emirates. The company had a Unix based application server in the head office. This was being accessed by the users over LAN and WAN.
Al Buhaira did not have a centralized mail or fax solution to start with. Also the head office did not have a centralized file and print server or a proxy server. They contracted NGIT around 10 months back to design and implement a stable and secure solution to address the requirements of the company.
As a precursor to our work, we made a detailed study of the requirements and proposed a solution based on Redhat 9.0. The hardware was chosen to adequately address the requirements of the solution.
The proposed solution was based entirely on Opensource components to achieve the lowest TCO. Redhat 9.0 was chosen to keep the total cost to the minimum. The decision was also aided by the fact that the company had some services already on a Unix platform. This would mean the IT team has certain level of comfort with administering and troubleshooting a Linux system.
The installation posed a lot of challenges as so many different services had to be running together on the same hardware platform. The fax system had 2 fax lines and were connected to the fax server through standard external serial modems. The faxes are received by the system and delivered as emails, there by achieving a very high level of integration with the mail server.
Mail server configuration included many complications with the company requiring access control restrictions for the mail users.
Internet access policy of the company involved authenticating the users and controlling their level of access based on their logins. This was done by setting up Squid to use password authentication and by using the Squid ACLs extensively.
As all the clients were Windows, Samba was configured to provide file and print services.
The server is being accessed from all branch offices over a WAN, and involved extensive configuration to the Iptables based firewall rules
Hardware : Compaq Proliant ML 110
Operating system : Redhat 9.0
File server – Basic file server functionalities using Samba.
Email server – Postfix based mail server. Postfix MTA. Mails are downloaded by fetchmail from a catchall account and distributed locally. All the mails are content scanned with amavisd-new. ClamAV is does the virus filtering and Spamassassin does Spam filtering. POP and IMAP is provided by Dovecoat and Squirrelmail provides a lightweight web client.
Fax server – Hylafax server to send and receive faxes. It delivers the incoming faxes and other messages through the mail server to the users.
Proxy server – Squid with authentication and extensive ACLs
- Greatly reduced network traffic
- Spam control
- 100% virus filtering at the server level
- Better control and monitoring of mail traffic
- Better user experience as the users interact with the local server only.
- Better control on browsing and Internet traffic
- File server for centralized backup of user files.