Advice on email hosting solutions that can accommodate lots of old email?
June 1, 2009 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for advice on email hosting solutions that can accommodate lots of old email.

I'll describe some of my particular "desires" below, but maybe more than a specific host / solution, I am looking for ideas on how to best manage my email situation. I have medium-lots of old email, on the range of 15G or so, that is going to get evicted soon from my current independently hosted IMAP/Webmail host. I would like to integrate this massive pool of email rather smoothly with whatever I do going forward.

I want to say that I am interested in IMAP going forward, as well as webmail, as well as shell access so I can manually tarball and SCP my archives to backup. And I do want these things, as far as it goes. But more to the point I realize I've been stuck in an email rut, which I am about to get kicked out of regardless, and so I'm also interested in general advice on how to make this easy going forward, and if there are any other factors I should maybe be considering. If I'm going to make a big switch anyway, maybe I shouldn't just look for something as close to the old host as possible. Although any cheap IMAP/shell-access compatible solutions, with a fair bit of storage, will be graciously welcomed. Thanks for any advice.

My current folders are in Maildir format and I have full access to all files, folders, etc, if that is relevant to your recommendation.
posted by rkent to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Have you checked out Google Messaging? I know they support IMAP, give you 25 GB per user, and you can use your own domain. You also get the Gmail interface, which may or may not be a big bonus for you in terms of getting webmail in the bargain (I'm not particularly fond of Squirrelmail or Horde or any of the other Open Source webmail apps I've tried). Here's the FAQ.

Dunno about SCP/tarball backup, would you be willing to consider other possibilities? Is shell-access a deal-breaker? I'm going to guess you don't get shell access to any Google servers, but I would also guess you get some clever sort of backup system if you want it...
posted by dubitable at 5:45 PM on June 1, 2009


15gigs is quite a bit. At the level I would consider running your own little mail server at home and storing it all on there. Linux + qmail in a virtual machine works nicely.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and this may be helpful for backup/migration if you're willing to consider the Google option.

And, on preview, I see damn dirty ape suggests running your own mail server. I just want to warn you that, unless you are good at it and willing to put some time in, it may be a time-sink. I've run a qmail server (semi-)professionally and I currently run a postfix/courier setup that has been a pain. I'm thinking myself of moving to the Google setup actually.

But, if you're up for it, it certainly can be pretty cheap in terms of what you get. Slicehost is who I've got hosting with.
posted by dubitable at 5:53 PM on June 1, 2009


I moved to Google Apps to handle my old email archive, and IMAP with Apple Mail for ongoing email use. I don't have any complaints with Google at all. With IMAP it is also easy to migrate from old to new.
posted by avex at 8:14 PM on June 1, 2009


At the level I would consider running your own little mail server at home and storing it all on there.

Yes, well, that is the current solution that is disappearing. Actually it's OSX server rather than Linux, but the principle is the same. The problem is that it's gotten more-or-less seriously hacked about every 20 months, to the point where one or more of the server owners has to drop everything and fix it right now, which is no longer acceptable to the various parties. Today, for instance, it was this.

Is there a really, really buckled down way to run a mail server with IMAP and webmail, or is it no longer "really buckled down" when it has those things?
posted by rkent at 8:54 PM on June 1, 2009


Is there a really, really buckled down way to run a mail server with IMAP and webmail, or is it no longer "really buckled down" when it has those things?

VPN, port knocking, IP filter lists, ssh tunneling, etc. You dont have to expose all of it to the world. Just having ports 22 and 25 open and nothing else is pretty damn secure.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:18 PM on June 1, 2009


@dubitable... I have my doubts about that Google mail backup tool. It looks great, probably works as advertised, but the security implications are scary. One of the user reviews at that link says it sends traffic to a non-google domain.

As I'm planning an email migration for one of my clients, it'd be really handy, but there ain't no way. Anyone looking at using it should test it carefully and know what you're getting into.
posted by maniabug at 4:28 PM on February 7, 2010


maniabug: eeeewww. Scratch that suggestion then...
posted by dubitable at 11:48 AM on February 15, 2010


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