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LINUX-L  2007

LINUX-L 2007

Subject:

Re: Your recommendation please: a big volume mail solution

From:

"N.J. Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Platform Independent Linux List! <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Nov 2007 17:40:29 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (98 lines)

* Arthur Sherman <[log in to unmask]> [2007-11-06 23:33:52 +0200]:
> > How many users will you have reading mail, or this outgoing mail
> > only -- for "marketing" purposes?
> 
> Outgoing only 

Ah. It sounds like you will be sending out UCE. Perhaps I should be as
blunt as Ben Bolker, but I will go against my better judgment and
continue responding -- and hopefully you'll do the right thing.

> > Hardware-wise, Postfix can easily handle the sort of drops you are
> > talking about.
> 
> I am more familiar with sendmail, so would prefer it as a MTA. If this
> is a problem, I'll have to learn Postfix, which is possible.

Well, any MTA will send out mail for you. Sendmail is IMO the worst
choice for an MTA because of its poor record of security and horrible
maintenance issues. qmail is more secure, but it is horrible to maintain
(to do anything useful with it, you have to apply at least 25 patches,
and good luck maintaining it after that).

qmail is also 10+ years old and hasn't been touched in most of those 10
years, although I hear very recently that the author is putting it into
public domain.

Postfix is the best choice in terms of being a modern MTA, secure, and
easy to manage. It is also very efficient at sending and receiving mail,
which should a priority for you, since you will be sending out so much
mail.

> > > what is your recommended software solution
> > 
> > Postfix, LDAP, Dovecot, with a NetApp backend.
> 
> Not MySQL but LDAP? Could you explain?

Well, since you do not have local users reading mail, you can do away
with LDAP and/or MySQL entirely, as well as Dovecot.

You will definitely need a bounce server or two though, i.e. something
to handle the high amount of bounces/rejections you will get. You will
also definitely want a web server or two to handle unsubscriptions.

> > How big are your lists and where did you get them from? A million
> > emails a day sounds like you would run into trouble very quickly.
> 
> Right, looks troublesome. Is there an equation to know approximate
> maximum of emails/day per IP/domain?

Not really. It's a gray area, and it changes all the time. There are
companies that purport to know the thresholds that most major ISPs set
and will give you a preconfigured MTA that won't surpass these limits
(c.f. port25.com), but I submit to you that this is all fuzzy math and
at the volumes you are talking about, you will run into trouble
everywhere for sure.

You need a deliverability team (see below).

> The lists are 1-2 millions, legally bought.

You may have purchased them legally, but I will bet you dollars to
donuts that the list broker that you purchased them from didn't get them
legally. After your first drop, you'll see what I'm talking about.

> > In addition to the admins you hire to manage this mail setup, I
> > would strongly recommend you have a dedicated team of deliverability
> > people.
> 
> I am sorry, I don't understand the meaning of deliverability people -
> could you please explain this a bit further?

All ESPs have a deliverability team. These people exist soley to manage
relations with large ISPs (GMail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc.), and to
deal with ISPs and blacklists (Spamhaus, etc.).

With a list number in the millions you will need people to manage all
the complaints you will get. You can of course burn your bridges and
jump from ISP to ISP as the number of unresolved complaints increase and
your ISP loses its patience with you, but of course, that would make you
a spammer, and you are not, right?

> > Also, you should have multiple upstream ISPs, most ISPs nowadays are
> > fairly strict nowadays and a million message drop/day sounds like
> > you will be getting lots of cease-and-desist notices from your ISPs.
> 
> Even if the servers are co-located and distributed among data centers
> and have dedicated pipes each?

Do you think the people you sell you colo services are going to put with
you tainting their networks for very long?

Thomas

-- 
N.J. Thomas
[log in to unmask]
Etiamsi occiderit me, in ipso sperabo

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