Load Balancing with Postfix [and SpamAssassin]

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Fri Jan 20 09:27:07 MST 2006

/me fights and defeats the awesome forces of inertia and laziness to
actually do a tiny bit of research

On Fri, 2006-01-20 at 06:49 -0700, Josh Coates wrote:
> > As we're constantly reminding our users, E-mail is, and never was 
> > designed to be, an instant form of communication.  
> who says?

The opening sentence of RFC 821 states " The objective of Simple Mail
Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is to transfer mail reliably and efficiently."


That said, I do have anecdotal evidence for the other side too. When I
first started using this new Internet-thingy, I remember repeatedly
reading that the speed and reliability of SMTP was a minor miracle and
that no one expected it last. The fact that is has is a testament to its
simple robustness, but let's not let a couple decade's familiarity make
us complacent.

At any rate, it doesn't matter what the original designers intended. The
fact is that e-mail isn't as immediate as other forms of communication.
If you call or IM me, you'll find out pretty quick whether I got the
message. If you send me an email, however, you don't know if I'm at my
desk, at the movie theater, on an intercontinental flight, or hacking my
way through deep Amazonian jungle. A backhoe could have taken out my
network connection, the server room could have been hit by a meteor and
SMTP won't tell you for hours.

Personally, I love greylisting. If you're uncomfortable with it, by all
means don't use it. The more people that use it, the less effective it
will be. Right now, it works miracles for me. I use nothing else and get
almost zero spam. If I could, I'd keep greylisting my little secret

And now for a "back in my day moment". Although I started using that
Internet-thingy before college, I had my first high-speed connection
freshman year. One day I sent a friend in the neighboring building a
message asking something random. Four months later (now very much out of
context) he received the (now rather confusing) message. He swore he'd
never seen the message before, the message appeared to have just gotten
wedged then unwedged much later. Sure, SMTP is great, but I'm convince
there're still a few demons hiding in the machines.

Stuart Jansen              e-mail/jabber: sjansen at buscaluz.org
                           google talk:   stuart.jansen at gmail.com
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