Bill Moran wrote:
"David E. Meier" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

Like I said, we'll never know till someone tries it.  It looks like
Dovecot is going to try it eventually, but it seems like they have
other priorities at this time.

"Someone" already stores mails in a database: Oracle (Email Server and Collaboration Suite). I set up the Oracle Email Server 5.2 for a company I worked for earlier. And to express it nicely: It was a nightmare! Mails got stuck and rejected because the system was not capable of writing them into the database. Besides, the support for that system was also =0. We were probably the only ones daring to run the system ;-) I am glad I am running cyrus now. Extremly stable and fast.

That system was not well thought through at all. I don't know how much
work needs to be done for a database email store, but Oracle wasn't
(isn't) able to do so.

MS Exchange Server also stores email in a database. This has some great benefits, but also some horrible side effects. If your database gets corrupted, you are in deep doodoo, and back in the days when I administered an Exchange Server, that happened all too often. As someone mentioned, Cyrus takes a middle approach: it doesn't store the email in a database, but maintains a database that tracks the email to improve speed. It seems to scale well.

It's a shame it wasn't an OSS project, so we could determine if keeping mail in a database is a bad idea, or if Oracle just did it poorly.

The other option is to take what appears to be the best IMAP server out
there (Cyrus) and figure out a way to do real-time mirroring of the
mailboxes.  I was wondering if it could be done with Coda, but I don't
know anything about Coda, and it doesn't look like I'll have time to
experiment in the near future.

I played with Coda a few years ago, and it seems to have a lot of potential. I keep promising myself I will look at it again. I recently thought of using it for precisely this scenario, but I had only one server with two drives, and Coda didn't seem to be the way to go in that case. In fact, I just use rsync nightly, and figure I can live with the loss of one day's mail if something dies.

There are other distributed filesystems out there in the Linux world, but (IIRC) not many for FreeBSD. I think it is worth looking at Coda for this purpose, although it may have some downside (e.g. not real-time enough) that makes it inappropriate.

- Bob

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