I admin an ISP (relatively small operation but may scale exponentially in
the near future).
I recently moved to a vpop solution for our hosting customers and it's
working great. We use qmail, courier-imap, qmailadmin, and HORDE/IMP for
webmail. All existing domains were moved to the new server relatively easy.
Only one left is our "main" company domain with a few thousand users and
their personal webspace (a real gotcha).


CURRENT:
We manage the "main" domain users with a custom program that parses the
command line and runs the appropriate scripts to create the users in our own
way (fancy way to create system accounts). Since these users are dialup
customers too the scripting sends off the account info to our RADIUS servers
(updates a cdb file) when we add a user. Problem is, the way it was built a
long time ago required us to use system accounts to accommodate the
"personal webspace" (FTP) we provide as well.

WANTED:
I want to make more of a vanilla setup (within reason) so I can find more
support options and allow more technicians to administer our services. I
like what I read about the flexibility of vpopmail with mysql as a backend.
But a few questions puzzle me... 

1. Are there any drawbacks to using the mysql backend compared to using the
default vpopmail way? 
2. Our "main" domain has few thousand mailbox accounts (which will grow).
Will this present a problem to qmailadmin
   or with administration by our technical support staff (vqadmin)? Are
there limitation that eclipse performance at
   some point?
3. Anyone have input on a "virtual user" FTP solution for these customers,
I've considered a separate server, vsftpd
   (but it requires a common shared dir) and the dreaded system accounts
once again.
5. Anyone have suggestions/experience with a giant NAS type setup where
qmail/courier-imap/vpopmail would connect to for
   the user MailDir's? ...LDAP? ...NFS? I mean Hotmail and yahoo must have
terabytes of attached storage they store
   their mailboxes on right? Any ISP's listening?


As you can see I'm stepping into some land I don't know much about but I'm
learning fast and willing to take the time to do it right the first time.
I'm willing to spend some time with a consultant for suggestions or just
plain real-world ISP type tips since I'm sure there are many variables.

Christian

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