Totally OT comment: Re: Somewhat OT: Mail Relay Services

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Mon Mar 1 15:48:37 UTC 2021

On 3/1/21 9:30 AM, Matthew Seaman wrote:
> Having worked for an e-mail service provider in the past, I can state 
> that it isn't GMail, Outlook or any of the other big cloud providers 
> intentionally killing off personal e-mail servers.

No, they are not. It is not they, but their way of doing things does.

> Well, other than by 
> competition: providing an easy-to-use mail service with little 
> administrative burden.

Leaving people switching over to "big boys" along, I am considering 
purely technical aspects of "small time" servers being thrown out of the 
ability to reliably and consistently providing email services, - because 
of the way bug boys do things.

> It's the continuing arms race between the Spam senders and the Spam 
> filtering.  Reputation scoring based on sender IP is one of the best 
> tools in the box for filtering spam, but...

Yes, and your "BUT" is exactly why I called "barracuda" and friends a 
brain dead approach. Do we still support mail forwarding? Do we still 
consider email account owner entitled to receive all mail arriving for 
his/her account? If both answers are yes, then your server quite likely 
will be "barracuded".

Just my $0.02.


  the spammers are continually
> developing ways to avoid it by distributing their output over whole 
> network ranges, and by setting up throw-away spam sources on  any and 
> all hosting services they can blag their way into.  That's why your VPC 
> hosting your e-mail server will quite likely get shot down as collateral 
> damage.
> The best way to avoid this is to use an address range that you can be 
> confident no one will be able to set up a spam source on.  So, a 
> dedicated e-mail relaying service would qualify.  Or, if you can swing 
> it, get yourself a fixed IP range and run an e-mail system out of your 
> own premises. (Which is what I do.)
>      Cheers,
>      Matthew
> On 28/02/2021 18:29, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>>> On Feb 28, 2021, at 12:01 PM, Tim Daneliuk <tundra at> 
>>> wrote:
>>> For many years, I've run a mail system built on FreeBSD for my own 
>>> small business.
>>> It's been as flawless as any mail server ever can be, requiring only 
>>> periodic
>>> maintenance and updates.
>>> The primary server runs in a 3rd party cloud environment.  We are 
>>> starting to
>>> see parts of their network blacklisted by the various UCE blackholing 
>>> services.
>>> Unfortunately, they don't just blackhole a single IP, but an entire 
>>> subnet at
>>> a time, which catches us in the mix.
>>> The big mail hubs like no longer have a mechanism for 
>>> removing the block
>>> for a single ip and kick you back to your ISP or hosting provider for 
>>> resolution.
>> Totally OT comment:
>> For quite some time already I have a feeling that big boys - 
>> gmail/google; microsoft/outlook/office365/hotmail; yahoo… - 
>> effectively jacked “small time” sysadmins out of providing email 
>> service. Tim’s description shows one mechanism of it.
>> Valeri
>>> So ... we are contemplating using a smart host to do all our outbound 
>>> email for us
>>> via relays from our own mail servers.  Presumably, such a smart host 
>>> would be better
>>> equipped to deal with bad blacklisting and delivery issues.
>>> So ... does anyone have experience or recommendations as to who would 
>>> be a good
>>> provider for a low volume, small business mail relay?
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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