Feature request - Emergency mode

Stephen Swaney steve.swaney at fsl.com
Wed Jul 27 19:33:03 IST 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MailScanner mailing list [mailto:MAILSCANNER at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On
> Behalf Of Ugo Bellavance
> Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 1:34 PM
> Subject: Feature request - Emergency mode
> Hi,
> 	Julian,
> Could it be possible to have an email sent to an admin when MailScanner
> enters in emergency mode (Max Normal Queue Size =).
> This way, an admin could be warned that the queue length is abnormally
> long.
> Thanks,
> --
> Ugo

One thing to consider with this approach is that the email may not get
delivered in a timely fashion unless you make sure to drop it in the
outbound queue. Remember the reason you're sending the email is that the
incoming queue is backed up :(

Also there may be other email problems that have caused the queue to backup
and mail in general may be broken. So using mail to monitor mail may not be
too robust a solution.

The real solution here is to come up with an out of band approach that does
not depend on the local mail delivery system at all to warn of problems. 

Ideally you would have a system that puts a message in the inbound queue and
check to make sure it's delivered in a timely fashion. 

Since you turned me on to monit, (http://www.tildeslash.com/monit/) I know
you're monitoring your mail systems for the other typical problems. For the
other readers I'll mention that you really need to monitor the health of all
critical applications and systems on your gateway to be sure there are no
current or impending system problems. 

Have you thought using monit to check the size of the mailq. You could write
a simple cron job script that changes the size of a file if the incoming
mailq gets larger than "Max Normal Queue Size =". Then use monit to check
for change in the size of that file.

Just a thought. 


Stephen Swaney
Fort Systems Ltd.
stephen.swaney at fsl.com

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