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Help me convince my IT dept. to adopt Wildfire/Spark

I’'m trying to get my IT dept. to adopt Wildfire/Spark for our intra-office IM. Currently in our organization, some people use AIM (under the radar) and others are left out in the cold. They want to use IM, but their managers have said absolutely not, unless it is officially supported by the IT dept.

The IT guys are scared of anything server related, worried that it will put too much traffic on the network and open security holes. I can sympathize with this. So, I’‘ve been tasked with learning more. In lieu of doing actual research, I’'m looking for others who have already done it.

So…if there are any other IT deptartments out there happily using Wildfire/Spark, please help me out. Post a testimonial, or send me your contact info (if you dont mind). I’'ll tell my IT guys to call/e-mail you and you can set them straight.

my e-mail: micah.wedemeyer@gtri.gatech.edu

some info:

our organization has a little over 1000 employees, but probably only 10% max would ever even care about instant messenger.

We recently implemented Wildfire and Spark on our intranet for our 100 users or so. Not everyone is on it, only about 40 people are connected, but it has proven useful. We put in place stringent policies regarding it use. We inform every user that it is monitored, and I check the logs on an hourly basis. So far we’'ve found it to be quite useful.

Creating new users is a breeze and using Spark Manager we can upgrade the clients fairly easily (although we’‘re having a problem with 1.1.4 and Spark Manager). It is significantly more safe than AIM (whose ports we have blocked on the firewall anyway) since it doesn’'t connect to the outside world.

I can definitely say that I highly recommend it.

Ariston Collander

Systems Enginer

PCV Murcor Real Estate Services

I’'ll agree with Astion on this one, if anything AIM is the big gaping security hole as you have information potentially sensitive to your organization travelling outside of your network. If you setup wildfire on your internal network you can have it setup so that no communication is occuring outside of your network, and/or all traffic to and from the server is encrypted. This is not the case with AIM



Hello Ariston

How much java memory you have configured in ur messenger server ?

Thanks for the quick replies. I’'ll try to get my IT guys to look at this thread. Anyone else with an IT dept. testimonial?

My testimonial:

I currently run Wildfire on a Windows 2003 server with Spark clients and love it. I’‘ve integrated it with my Active Directory to allow users a single login to access their IM for inter-company communications. Resource usage is minimal, security isn’'t any more of an issue than allowing AIM/MSN, infact probably less because now you are able to monitor communications.

Any more questions please feel free to contact me. Phone numbers upon request.

Mike Stanclift

IT Manager

Overland Tool, Inc.


I have been managing a jive/wildfire server here since June 2005. We have about 200 users with a norm of 60 concurrent connections. It has been rock solid. Message Packets are minimal at best. Using the Just Another Jabber client the the memory using on the PC’'s are normally around 18,000 k.

We previously uses Jabberd 2.0 and administration was terrible. The administration with Wildfire is good and they are constantly developing and adding on.

We use the pyAIM transport with the pyMSN transport which gives good portability to other IM clients ( for your employees who need to use them).

It keeps message logs for every message that passes through the server, the only drawback is the ability to parse this to a Human Readable format. We now use the iballAuditor, which makes it a lot easier, but is a bit buggy.

So from an IT standpoint, management and funtionality is great. But if HR comes to you fro message logs, be prepared for some work.

I spearheaded my companies choice to use Wildfire/Jabber for our internal chat.

We needed a chat system that could be logged and have no communication to the outside (like MSN/ICQ/AIM). We tried IRC, but our main office was unable to logina and read the logs since the server was on a seperate network. We then tried ‘‘BorgChat’’ which was unstable and sent it messages by broadcasting to the whole network to find the receipiant, and didn’'t like having to span 4 domains. So I decided to try Jabber and Jive/Wildfire was the best open source free solution.

We have 250 registered users and average 50 concurrent connections during the day. The only time Wildfire is down is during upgrades or the *nix server is down (which only happened when we moved it from 1 rack to another).

System is stable and has awesome features. Log files are easily read with i-ballchat or logviewer (which needs to be updated) and communication is restricted to internal office only.

Rock solid system… Props to the developement team!!

As i understand we shouldn’‘t talk here about how useful it is (and it does), but about traffic and security issues. Well i’'m not a specialist about network/traffic, but we werent even concerning about that setting up internal IM server for a ~70 (now ~100) users. Of course, only messaging, no file transfers. How much can it take? And waht about AIM/etc.? They are not messaging by air too Anyway, we arent having any troubles with our network after setting up Wildfire/Exodus.

Security question was already discussed and i agree. It’‘s local, it’'s closed, or you can let it connect to other servers. But it can be monitored. If commmunity needs to im about some work stuff i think it SHOULD be some internal service and not AIM/MSN/etc based.

And other reasons for internal IM network. You dont suffer because of AIM/MSN or you ISP breakdowns. Everyone in your community can talk to other, unlike the case the one like AIM and other prefers MSN. Of course you can use Miranda, Trillian, Gaim to support every network.

You dont have to teach or register by yourself every user with particular networks. MSN registration is really complicated, even for me, an IT guy. So with one IM network you dont have to keep in mind every registration step, no confirmation emails, dont have to remember every user’'s passwords

Flexibility. Everything you can control. You can enable registration by users. You can regiter them by yourself. You can create and share groups. You dont have to create groups for every user individually.

New ways of interactions. At our company IM client is installed for every user. So, even those who never before knew about IM are using it constantly. It’'s more convinient and faster than email and cheaper than phone calling. And you can talk with a few people at once (not necessary in conference mode).

This is fun Well. Of course IM is always some kind of distraction. But i think this is also some kind of terapy. While you’‘re working hard all the day it’‘s good to have few minutes to chat with co-workers, not holding the phone line. Especially if the one you’'re talking to is on the other side of building

Maybe you have other companies (customers or vendors) you want to connect to. Currently you may exchange information via email or probably other messaging services like JMS or MSMQ. For both systems IM clients are not really available. If you want or need secure IM inter connectivity with other companies you may want to use an open standard and XMPP would be one.

There are some HTTP/HTTPS WebClients available (JS Spark FastPath, JS Forum-WebClient if I’'m right, and free products like JWChat and MUCkl), so you can offer your customers even web based access to your IM system. A better customer contact could be very interesting for your marketing department, your IT dept should not really care about this. Convincing the marketing dept. is usually much better.

Do you already have a telephone directory service? Using the vcards you can publish some user information, I really like it. You may not want to do this using AIM/ICQ.

One can install Trillian and use icq.com:443 to connect to ICQ using a proxy server and I’‘m quite sure that only the proxy administrator may see that some guys are using ICQ. Or users may use web-icq or web-xmpp (e.g. www.mabber.de) to chat, and this will happen if the IT dept. does not offer appropriate services, maybe it’'s already the case.