[Mailman-Users] Moving Lists

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Fri May 25 06:46:08 CEST 2007

On 5/24/07, Brad Knowles wrote:

>  In short, I'd avoid this kind of solution like the plague, as far as
>  postfix is concerned.  It may be okay to store certain types of user
>  mailboxes out on NFS (or other shared filesystem type), but not the
>  mail queues themselves.

I should also say that most mailbox formats are not safe to store on 
NFS, or any other kind of typical shared filesystem.  If you spend 
the really big bucks and you get Veritas VxFS (plus all their 
cluster-aware software) on big honking Sun Solaris servers, then you 
may be able to store them on a shared filesystem (if you do it 
right), but at that point I imagine you'd have enough money that you 
wouldn't need to be coming to us with questions.

There are some mailbox formats that are supposedly safe to store on 
NFS, but even they have some issues and extra baggage that they bring 
to the table, and which I imagine you are probably not aware of.

Of course, most NFS implementations would still leave you with a 
single-point-of-failure (SPOF), that being your NFS server.

The only way to resolve that one is to go with a clustered NFS server 
solution, such as sold by the folks at Network Appliance.  But those 
things are pretty damn bloody expensive, too.  Even so, they're still 
a lot less expensive than solutions from the likes of EMC or Hitachi 
Data Systems.

Now, if you're talking about a shared filesystem type that is 
anything but NFS, then you've got a whole 'nother Universe of 

Yes, I know about GFS from what used to be Sistina (since bought by 
Red Hat), and I know one of their former senior architects -- he's 
been my co-author on some of the invited talks I've done, and I've 
been a technical reviewer of his book.  I also know about things like 
Coda (or AFS), and a wide variety of other distributed filesystem 

No, I'm not going to buy any sales pitch regarding how they're the 
perfect solution for problems like this.  If you want a real 
distributed cluster-aware filesystem for use with mail servers, then 
you're going to have to pay some real money.  It's that simple.

Veritas VxFS isn't necessarily the only solution here, but it is one 
of the best known.  There are other alternatives in this space, but 
they are equally expensive.  And no, Veritas VxFS on Linux is not the 
same as Veritas VxFS on Solaris.

Since you're using Mailman on Mac OS X, I should also point out FAQ 
1.21 and 1.29 at 

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

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