MURDER or IMAP proxy solution ?

Etienne Goyer etienne.goyer at
Fri Jul 2 10:46:31 EDT 2004

Greg Pulfer wrote:
> That's true 200 mailboxes is nothing but it will grow
> rapidly and I was thinking if I already configure my
> site with a MURDER configuration I will have less work
> after adding extra backend server or frontend servers.
> I  would like to start with one frontend server (also
> running the MUPDATE server) and one backend server.
> And pretty soon I should be adding a second backend
> server. Don't you think it's less work for the future
> if I already start with a mini MURDER configration ?

The administrative overhead of running a Murder versus a standalone IMAP 
is pretty high.  Also, it multiply the number of things that can go 
wrong (connectivity issue between frontend and backend, MUPDATE, etc).

This will have to be confirmed by people more experienced than me, but I 
think you could start with a standalone Cyrus server, and when you want 
to switch to a Murder setup, recompile this server with --enable-murder 
and make it a backend.  As I said, verify this claim before you go ahead 
as I never did that myself.

Regarding the volume, I would not bother with Murder and other 
scalabilty technique below 5K accounts.  We run a 5 machine Murder (2x 
backends, 2x frontends and a standalone MUPDATE master) for 85K 
accounts, and the load barely ever get over 1.  Most of these account 
are for pretty light users of IMAP, but even then.  This is using 
relatively high-end Compaq Proliant servers and hardware RAID.

> I
> really would like to be able to scale rapidly when
> needed. Also when we will have two backend servers
> then if one crashes there is still the other where we
> could quickly restore the mail dbs while reinstalling
> a new backend server and also only half off the
> mailboxes will be down for example, that's also
> another great advantage... Well for us that
> MURDER/Aggregation architecture looks very promising
> that's also why we want to use it.

For this scenario, I would rather investigate building a cold-spare and 
storing your mailspool on a SAN.  It would make recovery much, much easier.

Just my 0,02$ anyway.
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