Because our clients are so unhappy about the bad IMAP connections, we’ve created mini mail servers which will be placed directly in the LANs on site, therewith effectively hiding any bandwidth and latency issues from the client (I say hide because the MUA will be connecting to a local server in the local network; that in turn is fed from Europe, but the delays that appear there will not affect the users). A self-installing CD-ROM has been cut. It carries a Centos 4.2 Linux distribution on it as well as a preconfigured Exim mail server, an OpenLDAP LDAP directory server which is fed directly from the source with delta-syncrepl, a Dovecot server acting as POP3 server as well as a number of bits and pieces including of course OpenSSH in order for us to be able to maintain the boxes, including a mod_ssl-enabled Apache web server which provides a number of web services with which I’ll be monitoring the systems. The self-installing CD-ROM uses kickstart to launch the installation, and most of the hard work is done in the postinstall scripts (setting up networking, SSL certificates, loading the LDAP server with a base LDIF, etc.) I’ve tested the crap out of the system, so it ought to work rather nicely (famous last words), and we’ll be cutting the CD-ROMs tomorrow.