Ever growing mailboxes and archiving

Bron Gondwana brong at fastmail.fm
Mon Apr 18 13:41:36 EDT 2011

On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 11:11:23AM -0500, Jeff wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 4:58 AM, Paolo Cravero <pcravero at as2594.net> wrote:
> > Good morning.
> > I am looking for a server-side archiving solution to be applied to a
> > relatively large cyrus installation.
> >
> > The customer eats up ca 4 TB of data over about 4000 accounts. No quota.
> >
> > The competition is: who will die first? The web-based client or our
> > SAN+backup system? :-)
> >
> > I am aware cyrus can handle the folder tree of a single account over
> > different cyrus partitions. This might mean more complex maintenance and
> > way longer restore times but it does indeed require 100% good user
> > behavior in archiving old messages in the proper subtree. Unless
> > administratively old messages are moved away once a year (what an impact
> > on I/O and backups...).
> >
> > A good search engine did not return useful links, or I used wrong keywords.
> >
> > Some commercial email products have solutions to handle old messages or
> > just their attachments: is there something that would apply to our
> > beloved cyrus?
> >
> > How do you handle large and rarely accessed old messages?
> I have not yet attempted to implement this, but I have looked at
> dovecot 2.x with dbox mail store format. A new feature allows an
> alternate storage location based on criteria you choose, in this case,
> message age. See http://wiki2.dovecot.org/MailboxFormat/dbox, scroll
> down to the last section "Alternate Storage". In theory, you could do
> a single backup of the alt-storage location after you do a "doveadm
> altmove" and then, unless mail arrives with bogus dates, nothing new
> would go there and you need not back it up until your next manual
> adjustment to the cutoff date.
> Please don't hate me for mentioning dovecot on this list, but as far
> as I can tell, cyrus has no such storage feature. Am I excited about
> changing mail servers? Heck no. Am I going to do it anyway? Maybe...
> But my installation is orders of magnitude smaller than yours, so I
> can better afford the risk.
> I will repeat: I have not tested this feature. I mention it based on
> advertised capability alone, not on actual experience.
> That said, I will be eagerly monitoring this thread for a pure cyrus
> solution to the problem.

You probably want to add yourself to the CC list on:


Where we're discussing precisely how to implement something like this.


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