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Thread: Email servers

  1. #1
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    Email servers

    Im looking to add an email server to my centos vps. Are there any people would recommend? Its only for a single domain so that I can set up email addresses for certain people off my domain. I dont want to use sendmail as its too complex to configure.

    Thoughts?

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    If sendmail is too complex to configure then you probably don't want to take on installing and managing an email server. My advice would be to sign up for a hosted email provider somewhere and let them take that on, plenty of options out there depending on what you need from it.

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    Not all email servers force you to learn rewrite rules or m4 scripts. I still feel my prejudice against sendmail is justified.

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    Having managed email servers professionally on some level for the last decade I will tell you that the minor configuration issues of managing your email server pale in comparision to the pain in the *** of dealing with users and email and stuff happening in the rest of the cloud. IE, what happens when your server goes down for a few hours and people don't get emails? What happens when your server gets blacklisted for spam? What happens when your spam filter misbehaves and things don't get through? What happens when gmail rolls out a new feature that your el cheapo webmail has no prayer of supporting? Ever done mobile device support?

    Unless I had a pretty big and skilled staff I would not want to take those problems on, especially compared to how cost effective hosted solutions are in 2014.

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    What wwb_99 said. My server administration task load, customer support time-sinks, and development mysteries (e.g notification emails being junked) became a whole lot easier once I started shifting mail onto 3rd party providers a few years back.

    If you really, really, must then a combination of a control panel like webmin (clunky but workable) and postfix (easier than sendmail but not 'easy') should do what you need.

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    I use ispconfig3 control panel, and followed their how-to to build a CentOS server with an email server using Postfix/Dovecot and anti-spam and antivirus server-side components. Plus the ispconfig3 interface gives you a good tool to manage the mail server. Typically you won't need to visit any of the configuration files directly.

    www.ispconfig.org
    Doug G
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    "If you ain't the lead dog, the view is always the same - Anon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug G View Post
    I use ispconfig3 control panel, and followed their how-to to build a CentOS server with an email server using Postfix/Dovecot and anti-spam and antivirus server-side components. Plus the ispconfig3 interface gives you a good tool to manage the mail server. Typically you won't need to visit any of the configuration files directly.

    www.ispconfig.org
    Ok, thanks, will look into.

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    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    These days it's easier and cheaper to outsource email services. I've worked with email servers in the past, and they are a real pain to deal with, especially if you are the only one responsible for troubleshooting issues and keeping it running. I fully agree with what @wwb_99 said above.

    Heck, you can get fully-blown hosted exchange accounts with IMAP, POP, webmail, mobile webmail, activesync, 25GB of storage(per account) and full support for around $7-$10/mo per account. Plus, not having to deal with a lot of the technical headaches of running your own server is a big bonus.

    I've actually gone through three major migrations with three different organizations and migrated from an in-house email server to an external 3rd-party email host. Each time, I went through the list of pros and cons and cost analysis, and each time hosted email services ended up being a no-brainier. While the migrations were headaches in and of themselves, after they were completed, I rarely had to do much other than create and delete accounts.

    Running your own email server will suck up a lot of time, so unless you're just doing it as a learning exercise, I seriously do not recommend it.
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    Running your own email server will suck up a lot of time, so unless you're just doing it as a learning exercise,..
    I'd disagree, I've been running my own mail servers for my own personal and business email for a few years now, and once it was set up I've almost never had to touch the servers. But if you don't have a proper internet connection where you can control dns settings, add spf records, setting up backup MX, etc, you probably will spend a lot more time managing your mail server(s).
    Doug G
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    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug G View Post
    I'd disagree, I've been running my own mail servers for my own personal and business email for a few years now, and once it was set up I've almost never had to touch the servers. But if you don't have a proper internet connection where you can control dns settings, add spf records, setting up backup MX, etc, you probably will spend a lot more time managing your mail server(s).
    Do you have the email server on a hosting provider (pre-configured and/or managed environment), or did you set it up from scratch?

    Even with 3rd-party hosting, you sill will need to configure DNS, MX, and SPF records.
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    Do you have the email server on a hosting provider (pre-configured and/or managed environment), or did you set it up from scratch?
    I built a CentOS Linux server with the aforementioned ispconfig3 located here in my home office, and put it on my Verizon FIOS business internet connection. Verizon gives me proper reverseDNS on my connection.

    I have very simple DNS requirements, so I just use GoDaddy's DNS servers and manage the DNS through their web-based management tool. I tried running my own DNS server for a while, but there are too many DDoS bots out there and I don't want to invest in the super-dooper network stuff needed to deal with that problem. I get enough brute-force attempts in email trying to find a way in, but they seem to be much more manageable than the DNS bots.

    I have two public domains on different public IP's, and actually have two servers and let the two mail servers provide secondary MX for each other. I have considered getting an external MX backup plan but my mail volume is pretty low, so unless my location goes dark for an extended period of time I am comfortable that my mail won't get lost (not too much, anyway )

    I set all this up probably three years ago. My servers email me a summary report each day that I usually don't even look at, since I have had basically no problems with this email setup. I had a hardware crash a year or so ago, but it was only a few hours to get a replacement server restored from backups and on the air.
    Doug G
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    "If you ain't the lead dog, the view is always the same - Anon


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