New server request

Randal, Phil prandal at
Tue Apr 8 15:21:53 IST 2008

We're running CentOS 5.1 64-bit on a couple of 4GB quad-core Dell 2950s
here as our MailScanner boxes.

120K connections to each box every day (100K or so of which are rejected
at the sendmail level).

All messages are both virus scanned (ClamAVModule and McAfee uvscan) and
fed to SpamAssassin.  Images in low-scoring emails are also FuzzyOCR'd.

Local caching DNS, tmpfs, but no compiled SA rules.

MailWatch says there are 16 MailScanner children currently running.

Typical message time is 5 seconds, which, for a batch of 30 emails,
would create a maximum latency of 2 1/2 minutes.

If we reduced DNS timeouts this might improve (our internet feed is
often maxed out with other traffic).

If you want to reduce maximum message delay then you'd need to increase
the number of MailScanner instances and reduce batch sizes.

Hope this helps,


-----Original Message-----
From: mailscanner-bounces at
[mailto:mailscanner-bounces at] On Behalf Of DAve
Sent: 08 April 2008 14:43
To: MailScanner discussion
Subject: New server request

Currently we get hit with 200k to 300k connections a day that hit an
RBL. We see 15k to 25k pipeline attempts. We spam scan almost 50% of our
mail and we Virus scan everything that comes in. We process 4gb of mail
a day on two servers, total around 50k to 65k message we actually
deliver. We process 16,908 whitelist and 14,348 blacklist entries from

Mail delivery for our clients *INCLUDES* outbound scanning and filtering
through my smtp servers (different hardware) and coming back in through
my MailScanner servers.

I can get that done in 5 minutes round trip time for a message. 90% of
that time is spent in the MS server, queues, waiting for pickup, etc. I
think that is pretty darned good.

That is apparently not good enough. Every month or so I get told that
mail delivery in incredibly slow and I need to look at the servers. I
do, and every message I check takes around five minutes.

I need a recommendation for the root'n toot'nist, rockem sockem, nuklear
powered, rocket fuel fed servers money can buy. I want to push a batch
of 30 messages through a full featured install of SA, Clamav, and local
rulesets in less than 5 seconds. Tops. When my sales director hits send
in his outlook, I want the message to deliver so fast his laptop jumps
from his desk.

I think I need striped SAS disks with 15k spindles, four CPUs, and 16gb
of ram. I am open to realistic suggestions, though humor is still
welcome. I intend to submit a quote this week.



In 50 years, our descendants will look back on the early years of the
internet, and much like we now look back on men with rockets on their
back and feathers glued to their arms, marvel that we had the
intelligence to wipe the drool from our chins.
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