[Mailman-Users] Max Number of Addresses in Lists

Jeffrey M. Kenton jkenton at iastate.edu
Tue Dec 4 17:50:22 CET 2001


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                        jkenton at iastate.edu
Ames, IA 50011                                  515 294 0228

    "Security is a process, not a product." - Bruce Schneier

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