I just got off the phone with the director of external information for my college. She wants to know if our existing system (Mailman) will handle lists that contain "between 4500 and 7000 email addresses." They want to set up an alumni newsletter email list so they can distribute information about programs, events, etc.
This potential number of emails far exceeds, by a considerable amount (~5x), the number of email addresses on the largest list that I currently maintain. I do not have any fear that the individual components in the chain (mailman and sendmail) can handle the load, but I wonder about the hardware I might need.
I imagine that there will also need to be a significant amount of tweaking to my sendmail configuration to allow it to efficiently handle a sudden request to handle up to 7000 outgoing emails. The emails will also have attachments, most probably, and could be very large (~300K each). Approximately 200MB of outbound bandwidth per message to those lists is a frightening specter...
Of course, I am only thinking of the worst case. I would hope that most of the emails to the list will be referrals to URLs, email addresses, etc.
I am hesitant to answer this question immediately, because my mail server was once shut down by our central IT group because I was sending out ~10 000 emails. However, at that time, I was using THEIR outgoing SMTP server, and this time it will be all coming off mine.
If someone who reads this list has set up such huge volume lists, could you please respond to me directly as well as this list so I can pick your brain a little?
Jeff Kenton College of Education Tech Support N058A Lagomarcino firstname.lastname@example.org Ames, IA 50011 515 294 0228
"Security is a process, not a product." - Bruce Schneier