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Using ASIP for IMAP

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Issue: The default ASIP configuration doesn't handle IMAP well

Solution: More memory, adjust timeouts

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 11:41:47 -0500
From: Tor de Vries <tor@devries.net>
Subject: Thoughts Re: Mail Server + IMAP


I'm one of those folks who has battled the ASIP Mail Slothmonster for many
months, particularly as it applies to IMAP. It seems that half of the ASIP
mailing list have very good results with ASIP/IMAP, and the other half are
going prematurely grey from their ASIP experiences. Positive comments about
ASIP are rare on this mailing list... but 99% of us only post anything when
we need help.

If you need IMAP support on a Mac server and don't want ASIP, try:

- - NetTen (or whatever Tenon's mail counterpart to WebTen is called)

- - EIMS 3, when it ships

- - CommuniGate (has an IMAP module, I think it's finally IMAP4 compatible)

Or run a PPC version of Linux on your Mac and use a *NIX solution. Better
yet, run an NT or Novell server -- forget grey hair, you'll need Rogaine.

Personally, it seems I've finally managed to solve the IMAP problem, at
least on my server (ASIP 6.2.1). It took the following steps (the first
four were the critical ones for me, the last four are optional):

- - Boost the RAM allocation to the Mail Server by as many megabytes as you
can (I added 20; others have used as little as 2 with success).

- - In the ASIP Mail Admin Advanced Preferences, increase the IMAP timeout
number to some ridiculous amount (I picked 500 minutes; others have used 300
and 600 minutes with success).

- - Also in the Advanced Preferences, decrease the IMAP IP # limit to
something low (I picked 5; others have use 3-7).

- - Get an automatic restart cycle going for your server, using Rebound! or
some such thing (mine reboots at 5:00am every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday);
optionally, have a backup mail server -- the free EIMS or SIMS will work --
so that no mail is lost during the 2-5 minutes that your ASIP server is
down. This also cleared up some minor issues I had with ASIP file services.
Use a more-frequent restart cycle for higher-traffic servers and make sure
your users know about it.

- - If you have a very fast hard disk attached to your server -- RAID volumes,
UltraSCSI, Fast/Wide/Blah Blah Blah -- keep your ASIP mail database on that
disk. Your mail server will respond much faster than if you use the slower
ATA/IDE internal drive that many G3 systems (especially beige) shipped with.
And use SoftRAID's formatting drivers for your SCSI drives. (Yes, that's
free advertising.)

- - Add RAM to the server (we've got 128mb; many others recommend 192 or

- - If you can get the budget, buy an accelerator upgrade; our server -- a
beige 233mhz G3 w/ 512k backside cache -- was much better behaved after I
replaced the processor with a PowerLogix 466mhz G3 w/ 1mb backside cache.
(It's pricey, but it does seem to be more stable. At the very least it
crashes faster.)

- - Last but not least: BACK UP YOUR SERVER! Just in case everything else
goes to hell in a handbasket....

Hey, it's finally working for me. I haven't had an ASIP IMAP slowdown in
almost two weeks. (I haven't had an ASIP crash in months.) I may actually
keep ASIP 6.2.1 now that things are going smoothly.

Tor de Vries
Graphic Designer by Choice, Network Admin by Necessity

This Document Prepared By Gordon Davisson on 5/3/00

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