Tuning MailScanner

mikea mikea at MIKEA.ATH.CX
Thu May 22 22:10:17 IST 2003

On Thu, May 22, 2003 at 04:40:59PM -0400, Gerry Doris wrote:
> I was reading the thread on running MailScanner with lower numbers of
> children and/or reducing the number of messages/batch to be scanned.
> However, I'm not sure I ever saw a concensus on what is best.
> It sounded like it was dependend on the number of messages being received.
>  If there weren't enough messages coming in to load all the instances of
> MailScanner and only the first couple grabbed all the messages then it was
> a waste running the other instances.
> On the other hand, reducing the number of messages/batch would distribute
> the mail load across all instances of MailScanner and would be more
> efficient.
> If this is correct then the trick is to spread the mail load across as
> many instances of MailScanner as possible as long as you don't run out of
> server resources ie cpu load and memory.
> Sendmail is very efficient.  The real problems are the virus/spam scanning
> especially the RBL checking.
> Is the above correct?

That's pretty much my take on it.

Of course, tuning, even within those very broad guidelines, will be
very much a matter of tweaking one thing at a time, hoping that it
was the right thing, and wondering how much of the apparent change
comes from the tweaked parameter and how much from changes in the
characteristics of the processed mail.

I've been doing much the same thing with mainframe operating systems
since 1977, and it's still a black art. I used to have a black robe
with start, moons, etc., on it, which I reserved for working on really
bad problems, but my management disapproved. By the time I became
management, the robe was gone. *sigh*

Mike Andrews
mikea at mikea.ath.cx
Tired old sysadmin since 1964

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