[Mailman-Users] Capacity-size of mailing lists

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sat Dec 29 06:58:45 CET 2001

On Thu, 20 Dec 2001 15:12:03 -0800 
Kevin Phillips <admin at upbeats.com> wrote:

> We just did a test run of 50,000 and the server came to a grinding
> halt. ooops!  

What MTA, what hardware, how configured, how tuned?

I'm going to get in touch with the technology
> manager who handles the Cybergold mailings and find out how they
> do it.  

The very first hack is setting the number of RCPT TOs per message as
high as you reasonably can.  The exact choice will vary depending on
your MTA and MTA's behaviour (sites like AOL filter on over-large
RCPT TO lists, and the RFC recommends no more than 100).  

Past that you start wanting to spread the load about among multiple
systems, and to reduce IO loads and contentions on spindles, and so
forth.  Chuq has commented on his smurf army.  I've done similar
not-quite-the-same things with domain based routing (different
systems dedicated to handling deliveries to specific domain subsets
(see BugTraq's list architecture for details/inspiration as well as
the LServe docs and so forth)

The core problem is that it is inherently an IO constrained problem,
and standard MTA's are explicitly NOT built to be friendly to such
-- which essentially means you get to write your own MTA (non

J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?		  
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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