[OpenAFS] Using OpenAFS for implementing mail servers

Neulinger, Nathan R. nneul@umr.edu
Thu, 7 Dec 2000 13:31:48 -0600

If you're going to do it, I recommend that you use Maildir format spools.
That eliminates the need for locking entirely. It also lets you deliver into
the same spool simultaneously from multiple servers at the same time. 

Layout would be:

	[afs servers 1-x ] <-> [mail servers 1-x]

Your mail servers could all be 100% identical - that's one significant
benefit of using AFS for the mail delivery. Just DNS rotate amongst them (or
load balance if you like). Be sure and put really big caches on the mail

-- Nathan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Russ Allbery [mailto:rra@stanford.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 1:15 PM
> To: Jatin Nansi
> Cc: openafs-info@openafs.org
> Subject: Re: [OpenAFS] Using OpenAFS for implementing mail servers
> Jatin Nansi <linuxguru@india.com> writes:
> > we are planning to implement a clustered mail server, having upto 4
> > physical servers providing mail (smtp, pop3) and web mail 
> (http) to our
> > users. for this we need to keep the filesystems 
> synchronised amongst all
> > the machines, as the user may land up at any server, and 
> his data better
> > be there at that server. the clusetering solution would be something
> > similar to piranha or turbocluster. this is a round robin 
> load balancing
> > solution. all servers are expected to perform high file i/o.
> > since the volume of the mail is very high at our site, 
> typically upto a
> > GB a day, is it possible for me to use openafs for keeping all the
> > servers synced,
> I've yet to hear from someone who's had good experiences 
> doing high-volume
> mail into AFS.  It's possible to deliver mail into AFS, but 
> it's very slow
> according to everyone I know who's tried it.  You run into a 
> few problems;
> locking inside AFS isn't something you generally want to use. 
>  The write
> performance is also pretty annoying.
> > if not what else can i use for this purpose?
> Probably the most common solution that I've seen for this particular
> problem is to put the mail on a NetApp machine or something 
> equivalent and
> then make sure that it and all your servers speak the same 
> variety of NFS
> locking.  We take a different approach and assign each user to one and
> only one POP server, but use DNS to give them names of the form
> username.pobox.stanford.edu so that we can move things 
> between POP servers
> if necessary.
> -- 
> Russ Allbery (rra@stanford.edu)             
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