On Friday 27 October 2006 02:24, Matthew Kolb wrote:
> On Oct 27, 2006, at 12:02 AM, John Gorentz wrote:
> > We've had several persons lately who've experienced long delays
> > lately in mail that goes to the mail.msu.edu system -- up to 24
> > hours for mail to go from person to person within our department.
> > Has this been a general problem for others lately? It isn't
> > happening to all mail, and sometimes mails between the same two
> > persons go through right quick. Some of these mails originate or
> > end up on our own mail server, but the delays all seem to be
> > happening at mail.msu.edu.
> > Is there perhaps a retry queue that mails can get tossed into when
> > there are hiccups in the system, with a retry interval that's
> > pretty long?
> Unfortunately this has been an ongoing problem. We have tried our
> best to document it during periods of extremely high load via http://
> We are *currently* working feverishly to port some of our software to
> our new platform (we received 10 Sun X4100s (dual-dual cores) with
> 8GB of RAM each). Once this step is complete, we will put this
> hardware into production, and subsequently alleviate these delivery
> delays; for how long, I'm not sure!
It's hard to over emphasize the difficulty in maintaining a reasonable
mail system these days. In addition to a system that I help run, I
have three friends who keep mail systems going for the places they
work at. Back some years ago a little OpenBSD box with 128M ram
and 40G of disk could keep 50 or so people in email. Today one of
those systems is a 3.6GHz p4 with at least 2G ram and hundreds of
gigs of disk, all there to deal with...
...Spam. Tons and hordes and piles of sheer dreck which pummels
the machine constantly. Spam is really horrid: the end user doesn't
want to see it, and the effects on the systems folks is really rather
corrosive, in that what they've done today to deal with spam almost
certainly won't be effective in the future. Last time I helped with that
system we saw 89% of the incoming traffic was spam. I've heard of
other places at 95%+.
This is of course in addition to Matt et al having to deal with an email
system that deals with at least 80,000 accounts. Hats off to you guys
for the never ending work and the slogging through infinite plumes