The management of an Internet service involves a variety of aspects, ranging from the economic to the technical and organizational. Cost reduction, management simplification and improvement of service quality are the fundamental targets of every Internet service project. In geographically widespread organizations where numerous servers are used in order to implement distributed network services, both costs and human labor for maintenance and management are greatly multiplied. We believe that security and maintenance problems, and thus costs, could be reduced by transferring from a distributed to a centralized service. However, this choice would undermine the flexibility needed by local administrators in order to be able to administer their own services. This paper describes a hybrid service management model (partly centralized, partly distributed) and outlines the results we obtained by applying this model to the e-mail service of our organization
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