Why is MS doing spam checks first?

Kai Schaetzl maillists at CONACTIVE.COM
Sat Dec 3 18:31:26 GMT 2005

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Remco Barendse wrote on         Sat, 3 Dec 2005 05:41:34 +0100:

> Yes, they are backing up / queuing mail when our mail servers would be 
> offline.

So they just do backup MX for you? Then I don't see a problem with rejection at 
MTA level. I thought you were reluctant to bounce back to your ISP, but if they 
only do backup MX for you they won't get the rejected mail or temp-failed mail. 
Backup MX is only used when the machine is not reachable at all. Even a 
non-running SMTP does not guarantee that the sending client tries the backup. 
When I set up our MX's some years ago I did some tests and if I recall it right 
the only way I could make sendmail try the backup MX was to make the IP 
unreachable, a simple "connection refused" from the socket wasn't enough. Other 
daemons may behave different.

> I tried, but as soon as I increase the number of MailScanner processes I 
> start getting these annoying SpamAss timeouts 

Apart from the above you may want to troubleshoot why you get these SA timeouts. 
You will probably have to do this outside of MS with spamassassin -D. And check 
how much memory your MS and SA processes need and avoid rulesets which use too 
much. Sa version is also important. If you still use 2.64 and rules like bigevil 
SA will eat lots of RAM for these.


Kai Schätzl, Berlin, Germany
Get your web at Conactive Internet Services: http://www.conactive.com
IE-Center: http://ie5.de & http://msie.winware.org

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