In the last few months there has been a lot of consulting work we have done for Postfix. Postfix is a great mail server …meaning, easy to use, secure, stable and intelligent. One of the major themes we see with consulting for Postfix is that many organizations are moving to Postfix based on a greater need for performance. The primary mail server they are moving away from is Sendmail. Now Sendmail is also a good mail server, but does not seem able to meet the performance that Postfix can provide. One of the reasons this is true is that Sendmail is monolithic, in other words it is one application that does everything. While Postfix is a modular system that has a number of applications that work together. In addition, Postfix is easier to work with. The config files and the terminology for getting things done is based on information that is just plain easier to understand. Anyone who has picked up the O’Reilly book on Sendmail knows, Sendmail configuration is anything but easy.
The other theme that we are seeing with Postfix is that organizations are using Postfix as a gateway to their internal mail server. This is often done to protect an Exchange server that is used by employees. The security that is inherent to the Linux operating system and the rock solid security that is provided in Postfix are great ways to protect that internal mail server. When you set up Postfix as a gateway you can lock down all access to the box for users so that it can become a very hardened box.
Postfix provides both excellent performance and security, features specifically needed in today’s mail focused world.