Sendmail, IBM offer Linux messaging server

Sendmail Inc. and IBM announced Tuesday that they will jointly develop, market and distribute Internet mail routing and hosting software that runs on IBM's Linux-enabled eServer family and software products.

The collaboration will essentially assure that e-mail moving from one platform, such as IBM subsidiary Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes, to a different platform, such as Microsoft Exchange, doesn't overwhelm the server on the incoming side, according to IBM and Sendmail officials.

In addition to making sure that e-mail goes where it's supposed to, the new Sendmail software will provide a "throttle" to control message flow, said Dave Anderson, president and CEO of Emeryville, Calif.-based Sendmail.

Initially, the technology will probably be targeted at Internet service providers and application service providers, but given IBM's customer base, this will eventually apply to enterprise customers as well, Anderson said.

Sendmail is the commercial version of the open-source software created in 1981 at the University of California at Berkeley. The application was the first Internet e-mail program in the world.

The open-source Sendmail is a mail transfer agent used to move 75 percent to 80 percent of the e-mail on Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) servers worldwide, according to a 1998 study at the University of Chicago. Sendmail is designed to route messages from one network to another, and is the de facto implementation standard for SMTP and the related protocols that define e-mail transfer on the Internet.

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