New server for medium/high volume.
Question asked by Rafael Grecco - 3/16/2015 at 11:30 AM
I currently have 4 e-mail servers. I am building a new e-mail server where I will migrate all my domains and users, so I will have everything on only one server.
My servers are:
Smartermail Enterprise v12 - 22 domains and 800 users
Smartermail Enterprise v6 - 6 domains and 460 users
Smartermail Enterprise v11 - 213 domains and 3000 users
Smartermail Enterprise v10 - 1 domains and 2000 users
So my new server will host every domain and user, in total around 250 domains and 6000 users.
The hardware is a Dell R720 with 2x Intel E5-2620 processores (12 cores each) and 32Gb RAM. It has 8 2Tbs Hard Drives (16Tb in total).
My first question is if the hardware has enough processing power to host this quantity of domains and users, or if it is recommended to run secondary servers as anti-spam/anti-virus or outgoing/incoming gateways.
My second question is what raid configuration should I use, if any?
I have a second server with the exact same configuration to run as a backup.
Thank you!

4 Replies

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Merle Wait Replied
I guess, if it were me... I would:
a.) Move the inbound/outbaound email... to a different server... {a SmarterMail email server as inbound gateway }
    ALOT of our activity is either the outbound or inbound.... AND the less the outside world (less our clients)
    touches the actual email servers.. the better.
b.) Put the Spam assassin  on a different box, but immediately accessible (same internal network).

The rest looks fine to me....  we are not quite your size... but are getting there.
Rafael Grecco Replied
Hi Merle,
Thank you for your reply. I currently have one incoming gateway that acts as a anti-spam server. The problem is that it is a virtual machine and if I put too much traffic on it, it will start to build up a huge queue.
I think I'll buy another server (not as big) to make a new anti-spam incoming gateway.
What about I/O, do you guys think it will be a problem? All HDs are normal sata 7200. I have not installed any 10.000 RPM or SSD on this server.
Instead of using raid, I was thinking about sharing the load on several HDs. For example:
1 HD: pool
3 HDs: 100 domains (or 2000 users) each, so I/O will be shared among disks.
3 HDs: Archiving
Have anyone done it this way? Do you recommend a different setup? I am looking for advice before putting the server in production.
Colin M Replied
I don't know exactly where SM uses the most I/O, but I can tell you that after switching from RAID 1 HDDs to RAID 1 SSDs I am so glad I did. According to munin disk utilization plugin I was hitting 100% all the time before and now it hardly registers. If you can afford it I'd use SSDs for your main server and HDDs for archiving and for a SpamAssassin server.
Rafael Grecco Replied
Thanks for your comment!

I actually went for a RAID10 configuration and it is running alright!

I have another server that handles all spam, so the Smartermail server is only receiving good e-mails.

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