[Mailman-Users] Performance question

Barry A. Warsaw bwarsaw at cnri.reston.va.us
Wed Jul 21 23:42:36 CEST 1999

>>>>> "RK" == Ricardo Kustner <ricardo at miss-janet.com> writes:

    RK> well personally i'm not satisfied yet with mailman's
    RK> performance in my setup ... but that's also because it's just
    RK> a P100 with 64mb and the server has some other work to do too
    RK> plus we're moderating the list, which sometimes means we send
    RK> 10 or more message at the same time to all the
    RK> subscribers... at those moments the load on the machine grows
    RK> terribly high and sometimes it even makes my fastcgi scripts
    RK> die :( Anyway, maybe you have to test it first... or maybe
    RK> other people have better reallife experience with many users?
    RK> python.org?

On python.org we have over 50 lists, the largest (in terms of
membership) is jpython-interest with 748 members.  In total we've got
5740 subscribers.  I don't have numbers on msg rates, but something
like python-list must be pretty high traffic.

I believe the biggest performance bottlenecks are still in the
archiver.  I've fixed one really glaring problem, but I know that more
lurk in the code.  Unfortunately I won't be able to fix any such
archiver problems before the 1.0 release.

My suggestion for high traffic sites would be 1) shut off incremental
updating of the indexes, or 2) switch to a 3rd party external
archiver.  For #1, you'd still save the messages in a file, but you'd
run the indexer say nightly.  Take a look at ARCHIVE_TO_MBOX.  For #2, 
you'd want to look at MHonArc or Hypermail.

I have no personal experience with either approach, but I will
probably look at doing #2 for python.org sometime in the near future.
My personal interest in improving the bundled Pipermail archiver is
pretty low, as is Andrew Kuchling (Pipermail's author), but if anybody 
wants to donate fixes to it, they will be gladly accepted!


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