Mail Update

Update on the Mayans (12/21/2012)

They were wrong. We’re still here. We still have to face our mail and spam problems.

Update on Mail Hosting (12/22/2012)

If you normally leave all this techo-babble to your nerd-friend or family member, please check with them on what this update means. This update is important. If this means chatting with jfesler, give him a call during the Christmas break.

I have self-hosted email for people since 1993. Back then, we used modems, amateur BBS networks, and custom written software to glue the BBS world to UUCP email and Usenet; and later to the Internet. I’ve written a bunch of anti-spam stuff, some of which even got used in commercial products. I’ve written my own mail servers, and I’ve later leaned on other better mainstream options.

These days, my time is far more restricted, and my job duties are not in the mail realm. The day job has gottten busier as the responsibilities have become greater. The day job is what pays for the mortage and the food on the table; it is my actual priority. This means I’ve got less time to manage email for folks. I also prefer to try and use that free time to spend with family.

The main problem with mail hosting is simply around spam. Trying to block it. Trying not to block stuff that isn’t spam. Trying to keep up with the latest tactics. Handling complaints on it being done wrong. Trying to provide self-serve options for people to handle things on their own. Doing things myself when the former isn’t good enough. Spam is a hard problem; and nearly 2 years ago I got sick enough to outsource the spam problem to Postini.

At \$12/user/year, Postini was a good deal. And for most of the users, it worked well. Certainly better than the free options, especially if you factor in a distinct lack of free time to handle support issues, and technical overhead.

I was notified in August 2012 that Postini is shutting down, and that we need to replace Postini. I asked everyone to fill out a survey, about how they use our server, and their preferences on how to handle things going forward. Thank you to everyone who did so. Your input has been valuable.

The fact of the matter is, only a handful of people have a strong preference to use my server, versus outsourcing. To use my domain name (@gigo.com), instead of their own. And based on these results, I’ve come up with how I plan on handling things over the next few months.

Findings

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can’t have all three). -RFC1925

I’ve burned about 50 hours or so over the last couple of months looking for decent, reputable, and affordable solutions. My main finding is there is nothing that really fits anywhere near as well as Postini did. There are a lot of services out there trying to fill Postini’s gap, but none with the same reputation, or same great price, or an adequate feature set. Something is missing in each that I’ve looked at.

For @gigo.com I plan on moving us to Google Apps for Business. This costs \$50/year. For more information, including what free options you have, see Mail Update Gigo Dot Com.

For people with their own domains we have more flexibility. See Mail Update Domain Users.

Call to Action

Please read the related pages linked above, and let me know what you want to do, and with what addresses. This will be a huge help for me to make sure that everyone is well managed during any transitions that need to take place. The time you save me by letting me know up front, will be better spent to actively supporting the moves.

Timing / Urgency

My vacation ends January 6, 2013. Postini’s notice to move, should arrive approximately February 1, 2013. Postini terminates services for us on April 4, 2013. I really need to know your plans by February 1.

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