[OpenAFS] Using OpenAFS for implementing mail servers

aeneous@speakeasy.org aeneous@speakeasy.org
Fri, 08 Dec 2000 08:33:16 -0500

Tim said:
> I will refrain from plugging my company's (Mirapoint) fine, high-quality
> mail server products.  I'd also like to not plug IMAP at this point,
> although I'll note that it's difficult to get most mail clients to read
> AFS (that idea never really got out of CMU and it's been dying a long
> time there).

Mail clients will read AFS just fine - where did you get an idea that
was a problem?  Perhaps you meant that it's difficult to get clients to 
read AMDS-style mail directories?

The big problem is that mail delivery (and reading) exhibits very poor 
locality of reference, which is contrary to AFS' design assumptions.  
Mail storage in AFS would be much more reasonable if you had a technique
for writing directly to the server without trying to go through the 
local cache filesystem, and you used that for final delivery.

For an enterprise mail system (though perhaps not the one at hand), the
"no matter where you go, there you are" nature of AFS makes handling
stored email much more convenient than IMAP does -- especially if one has
several hosts that one moves between routinely.  

This observation may not apply to Jatin Nansi's situation, though.