AXIGEN’s Implementation on the Largest Portal in the Middle East

Maktoob Profile

Company Quick Facts

The portal was founded in 1998 by Hussam Khoury and Samih Toukan and is now part of the Maktoob Group. Based in Amman, Jordan, the Maktoob Group has about 150 employees and branches in UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

Maktoob’s vision is to lead the Middle Eastern Internet world in providing innovative and leading edge community, communication, content and e-commerce services and solutions for the local and international markets.

Maktoob’s mission is to maintain and grow their position as the world’s leading Middle Eastern Internet portal by constantly offering their users a unique experience and by providing them with new services and products that encourage open communications and community building.

Ever since its launch in 1998, has taken the Arab online services market by storm. As the world’s first Arabic/English web-based email service, it has quickly become the leading email provider for Arabic users seeking free dedicated email services in the native tongue, to further move to more and more extensive services and products for the Arab Internet users. Pioneers in the area of email services in Arabic, the company has also assisted users wishing to send and receive emails in Arabic by introducing a virtual keyboard to enable the Arabic writing even in the absence of a physical keyboard with Arabic characters.

Maktoob Group

One year after its establishment, already had 100,000 email users. Supported by a strong brand and traffic built on the free Arabic email and search engine services, then grew to become the region’s top full-service web portal and online community. In 2000, changed into Maktoob Group, comprising a network of leading online media companies and websites offering everything from chat to blogs, e-cards, mobile downloads, news, social networking and the latest jokes.

Taking the Lead of Online Services

Besides the portal, the Maktoob Group network includes: cashU ( the electronic payment solution, ( auctions and marketplace, Bentelhalal ( the largest Arabic matrimonial site and ( the first Arabic search engine. In 2005, Abraaj Capital, a leading regional private equity firm, acquired a stake in Maktoob, giving the Maktoob Group the resources to enhance its market share and accelerate its growth plans.

Maktoob Email Services

Over 4,000,000 Registered Users is available in both Arabic and English and is open for registration to all users throughout the world, which constantly adds to it user database. Yet, pioneering the Arabic language sites has brought the portal the first place among sites in Arabic. Industry specialized web ranking sites such as rank Maktoob as the website with the largest number of visitors looking for content in Arabic. On a larger scale, Maktoob also positions itself as one of the leading general content websites in the Middle East, after international players in the field such as Yahoo, MSN or Google.

At the moment, Maktoob manages about 7 million unique visitors per month, over 4 million registered users, and about 1 million active email users, and numbers keep growing, given the portal’s fame, years of dedication to Arabic users, and constant strive for innovative and comprehensive services.

Switching from Mirapoint and Surgemail – in Search for a Stronger IT Infrastructure

For years, the company based its WebMail and IMAP services on the Mirapoint and SurgeMail messaging solutions. Still, supporting the ever increasing user database has inherently raised the necessity to reconsider the IT infrastructure and overall costs.

Following the extensive growth in the number of email users, Maktoob started looking for alternatives: a new messaging solution that would safely store all users’ information and also provide them with a fast and easy access to email services, while also keeping company cost-effectiveness in mind. Main selection criteria were scalability, a solid IMAP engine, unlimited user licensing and a low TCO.

A new solution for the 4,000,000 Maktoob Email Users – a Choice Between Communigate and AXIGEN

AXIGEN Mail Server and Communigate Pro were the two final alternatives Maktoob considered as a replacement for its Mirapoint and SurgeMail servers. After a thorough analysis, AXIGEN was selected given its storage format and overall licensing costs.

The implemented solution was AXIGEN Mail Server ISP/HSP Edition, with a perpetual license for unlimited mailboxes, domains and servers. While implementing a completely new messaging solution, Maktoob was nevertheless able to keep its branded web interface format and functionalities their email users had gotten accustomed to over the years.

‘We felt Communigate Pro was equal to AXIGEN in terms of performance and scalability, but its cost of ownership was much higher. As a result, we selected AXIGEN and purchased it on an unlimited license basis. AXIGEN is very stable and fast. Moreover, its licensing options perfectly meet our requirements as provider of free email services with web-based access for more than 4 million users’, said Hussam Khoury, co-founder and President of

Features That Recommend AXIGEN as a Perfect Fit for Maktoob

The AXIGEN Mail Server features and benefits that recommended it as the best alternative for Maktoob include an innovative storage, complex and flexible anti-spam and antivirus protection, online back-up and restore functionalities, comprehensive administration features, flexible licensing and customizable technical support packages.

  • The proprietary storage is doubled by an innovative queue architecture. The AXIGEN Storage is a specific file structure with RAM cached index based access allowing fast mail delivery, retrieval and query. Local user mailboxes are stored in a proprietary format, optimized for fast and easy email access, reliability and effective storage.

  • The extensive configuration of all mail server functionalities is ensured by the AXIGEN WebAdmin and CLI administration interfaces, along with the AXIGEN configuration text file, axigen.cfg, which is preferred by advanced users. The WebAdmin can be accessed from any operating system, through the preferred Internet browser.

  • The AXIGEN security sub-system includes encryption mechanisms, the configuration of message acceptance and routing policies, and also full control over message content through the complex antivirus and anti-spam filtering system.

  • The online back-up and restore module has an innovative format for server objects access and enables on the fly email data saving and restoring, without service interruptions.

  • AXIGEN supports cluster functionalities, operating in 2 layers: with proxy servers in the front-end and mailbox servers in the back-end. In this case, the backbone of the solution is represented by the LDAP service which stores user information (their location on the back-end nodes and authentication information). The AXIGEN-based cluster solution ensures scalability and a high tolerance to hardware malfunctioning through redundancy.

  • The flexible and customizable AXIGEN licensing options are designed to include unlimited mailboxes, domains and as many servers as needed; a great option for large scale email providers such as Maktoob.

  • Additionally, the AXIGEN license does not depend on the installed operating system. This fact allows Maktoob to freely and easily choose from various platforms, with no additional license costs, whenever they feel such a change is needed to improve their services’ quality.

  • Maktoob chose the Premium Support with dedicated TAM package, which includes round the clock technical assistance via email, Web and phone, with guaranteed response time, having a dedicated Technical Account Manager (TAM) to ensure supervising of all specific technical aspects. The package covers services such as AXIGEN installation, migration, configuration, troubleshooting and software maintenance etc, all on a yearly subscription basis.


Gecad Technologies is part of a well established group of companies with 15 years of expertise in security software development and more than 6 years of international software distribution. Since 2003 we have focused on innovative messaging solutions by developing and distributing AXIGEN Mail Server worldwide.

AXIGEN Mail Server is THE mail server for Linux professionals, providing unmatched carrier class technology and outstanding 24/7 technical support. AXIGEN is an easy, secure and powerful messaging solution, offering a whole new range of original features and services especially designed to meet the various needs and demands of the international market. Built with administration needs in mind, AXIGEN features proprietary and innovative processing and storage technologies that allow system administrators to have full control of the email communication.

In terms of development, our commitment is to build AXIGEN as a worldwide technological milestone. We believe that nowadays, Mail Server products should meet the specific messaging needs of any small business, service provider or corporation, while remaining affordable and highly profitable in terms of TCO. Our mission is to provide secure and effective messaging solutions for both service providers and companies, thus leading to a world-wide secure communication environment.