New server request

Richard Frovarp richard.frovarp at
Tue Apr 8 15:26:09 IST 2008

DAve wrote:
> 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 
> MailWatch.
> 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.
> Thanks,
> DAve

I've got an old 2.66 GHz dual Xeon with 2 GB of RAM that pushes through 
mail relatively well. Standard RAID 1 SCSI disks. Right now it's doing 
batches of 2 in about 15 seconds. It handles about 4 GB of of traffic 
and scans about 46 K a day. I would expect a dual quad core with the 
requisite amount of RAM would be plenty. Network tests take a while 
anyway, and there isn't much you can do to speed that up. I am running 
greylist, greet pause, valid user lookup, and blacklists in sendmail to 
reduce the load. I also have two other machines that see similar load.

Heck, I've got a VM that scans 28 K internal messages a day with only 1 
GB of RAM and seeing 2 3.2 GHz virtual processors. That one is doing 2 
message batches in the 6 to 8 second range, most 1 message batches are 
sub 4 seconds. Dual quad cores would probably be more than enough.

Richard Frovarp
EduTech System Administrator
1-701-231-5127 or 

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