How to build huge services?

Joe Hamelin joe at
Tue May 4 10:01:19 PDT 2004

I've been spending the last two weeks trying to design a mail system
to handle about 10k users.  Just deciding which mix of
MTA/IMAP/database/etc. is requiring much research and testing.  The
thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that the work I put in now
will save my ass later on.

Here's what I'm leaning toward right now:

FreeBSD 4.9 (4.10 by the time it's deployed)
Postfix for the MTA
Cyrus-IMAPd 2.2 and SASL
MySQL 4.0.18
Spamassassin and ClamAV for filtering
Horde/Imp/etc for webmail

Here's ugly ASCII of the hardware design:

            / \
           /   \
     [LB/vrrp] [LB/vrrp]
         \        /
          \      /
        /   /    \  \
       /   /      \  \
[mail]  [mail]  [web] [web]
    \     \      /     /
     \     \    /     /
      /      |         \
     /       |          \
    /        |           \
[RAID]---[Backup/admin] [SQL]

The LB/vrrp are FreeBSD boxen running as failsafe load balancers.  The
mail and web hosts are as described above.  The RAID is a Procom
NetFORCE 800.  The backup/admin box will take snapshots of the RAID
and act as a backup fileserver and/or SQL host and perform various
admin tasks.  The SQL is a box running mysql that serves all the
database needs for the system.

As I test and research more I'll get some better documents on the web.
If you have any comments or suggestions I'm more than welcome to hear



   Joe Hamelin       joe at                W7COM
   Nethead, Inc.   Edmonds, Washington       206.898.8086

More information about the freebsd-isp mailing list