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Expansion of the Central Mail Server

  Arnaud Taddei IT/DIS (for the Mail ARCHitecture - MARCH - project)

The central Mail Server,, was initially introduced as a replacement for the CERNVM mail functionality for the UNIX community. With the reliability issues solved in November, 1996, this service can now be considered successful with 6500 registered users, 2000 active users on a weekly basis and a growing demand.

However, besides serving the UNIX community, this solution is able to offer an inter-operable location-independent e-mail service such that users can access their mailbox from any machine with a client which is compliant with the Post Office Protocol (POP) or the Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP). You can indeed access your mail from home, at work or from wherever in the world that you have a phone or Internet connection. The industry is now moving towards these new technologies (IMAP, etc.), and more and more clients are coming and are expected to be delivered in production soon (Netscape, Microsoft, Sun, and many others).

Already we are seeing a non-negligible number of PC and Mac clients trying out this new software and some have already moved to use the Mail Server. Users of other UNIX mail systems are also migrating to this service and therefore it is time to extend our capacity to serve these new users.

This exercise is in progress and should be completed quite soon. The hardware is in place and the software, to share the load transparently over multiple servers, is being prepared. Small changes will be necessary in the configuration of mail clients, but these should be transparent to users of centrally managed software.