Hostek - A Case Study

Hostek, a web hosting company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but with datacenters in the U.S. and the U.K., has been a SmarterTools partner for almost two decades. SmarterMail is an integral part of their overall hosting platform and provides a secure and reliable email platform for their customers as well as their in-house team.

Hostek web hosting
  • Name: Hostek
  • Industry: Web Hosting
  • Location: Tulsa, OK USA
  • Product(s): SmarterMail


Founded in 1998, Hostek is one of the few remaining independent hosting companies around. They offer several services, including shared Windows, ColdFusion, WordPress and email hosting, as well as a variety of VPS hosting plans. They also offer a number of different enterprise solutions such as Infrastructure Management, Load-Balanced Servers and Geographic Failover. Though they're headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they have datacenters in both the U.S. as well as the U.K. Hostek is a long-time SmarterTools partner and collaborator, going back to 2004. As such, they're very familiar with how we have evolved over the last two decades.


In the early days of web hosting, email servers were managed in a time-consuming and very inefficient way: system administrators had to log in to each server and use a management application or utility to troubleshoot and resolve issues. In addition, email platforms were built in a way that made them difficult to manage and maintain. There were constant issues with emails building up in the spool, email corruption, send/receive errors, disk space problems and much, much more. In addition, most email platforms required additional hardware such as a database server for storing messages. As such, offering email to a large customer base essentially cost service providers more in terms of maintenance and support than it made them. This isn't a sustainable business model.

Additionally, email servers weren't built with integration in mind: they were closed systems. If there were any integrations -- with control panels and such -- they were provided by the company that built the mail server. Service providers weren't able to build their own integrations. This meant when issues arose, service providers were at the mercy of the email server developer to release fixes and updates.


Hostek found SmarterMail.

For one, SmarterMail was initially built with hosting companies in mind. As such, it introduced several innovations that helped Hostek better manage and maintain their email servers. For example, SmarterMail was the first email server to offer browser-based management. That meant system administrators were able to use any web browser to perform actions such as checking various logs (SMTP, IMAP, POP3, etc.) for issues, adding in new domains and managing all of the settings for these domains, troubleshoot domain issues by impersonating domain administrator and/or user accounts, and much, much more. System administrators no longer had to log in to individual servers

As both Hostek and SmarterMail have evolved, Hostek has been able to leverage more and more features of SmarterMail to suit their growing business. One area they have taken full advantage of is SmarterMail's API-driven architecture. It has enabled Hostek to build on to SmarterMail and allows them to continually build tools and integrations with all aspects of the mail server. For example, they've built their own monitoring page that, in part, alerts them about spikes in email traffic, displays the top 10 sending email addresses and more. They have created their own scripts for installing updates and upgrades, they have a command-line interface for server standardization, and they've built an integration with WHMCS, a very popular server management platform.

What They're Saying

"SmarterMail's API-driven architecture has allowed us to create our own automation tools and integrate with WHMCS, making provisioning servers a breeze. Since everything is an API call with SmarterMail, we are able to quickly and easily push settings changes and/or defaults to any server we have."
Justin McCall - Hostek


  • Robust, Scalable and Secure Enterprise Email offering
  • Exchange ActiveSync for mobile client synchronization
  • Customized tools and integrations using the SmarterMail API
  • Complete email client compatibility, including mobile email clients

Infrastructure and Deployment Details

Hostek network diagram
  • Server OS: Windows Server 2019
  • Bare Metal or VM: VM-based using vSphere
  • CPU: Intel Xeon, 2-6 cores
  • RAM: 3-8GB per VM
  • Disk Space: Avg. 300GB per VM
  • Avg. CPU/Memory Usage: 30% CPU / 1-48GB RAM
  • Drives: Data stored on RAID10; OS on RAID1
  • Connection Details: Approx. 60% use webmail, balance use various clients
  • Protocols: Primarily IMAP; EAS is available
  • Domains / Users: 28000+ domains / 103000+ mailboxes
  • Antispam: SpamExperts
  • Antivirus / Security: ClamAV + Eset
  • Network Security: Windows firewall + perimeter firewall(s)
  • Backup: CDP using a custom-built solution


If you want to talk to Hostek about their experiences with SmarterMail, you can email them at or call their sales team at +1 (918) 392-7870. You can also email Justin McCall, quoted above, at: