|Bulk Mailing Performance||Sam Jones||9/2/12 2:43 AM|
More to satisfy my own curiosity than anything else, I'm wondering about
the performance that could be squeezed out of Postfix in a bulk mailing
I have a client that currently uses and ESP who have an astounding
throughput of up to a million messages per hour. This brought up a
discussion about high-performance MTAs and tuning and the general
comments I'm hearing are that things like Postfix, Exim, Sendmail &
are just not man enough for such a task and the absolute best you could
expect from any of them is about 100k messages per hour.
Now, I like to wipe out the fact from fiction because people like
PowerMTA are looking to sell their products and it would be in their
interest to neglect that any MTA (Postfix/Exim/Sendmail) could be set up
in a way that would easily rival their product.
Can anyone on the list tell me if it's possible to performance tune
Postfix to a point where it could complete with this and possible
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Robert Schetterer||9/2/12 4:09 AM|
Am 02.09.2012 11:43, schrieb Sam Jones:
Hi look on list archives about tuning stuff
at last , there are two side deliver in/out
for out ,there are things you need to find out about
the recipients mail servers, cause many of them have limits about get
mail from the same ip adress per time periods,and/or do greylisting and
other filter stuff, so its not only a question how to tune your own
postfix ( which may always be possible to goal your needs, depending on
hardware, filesystems network etc )
for massive bulk mails sometimes multiple instance postfix or a cascade
with smtp fallback postfix servers is used for fasten deliver out mail.
Also possible smtp via loadbalancer etc.
At last there are a lot other recommands ( whitelisting at big mailers ,
use dkim and spf dmarc etc ) doing massive mail which arent related
directly to the mailserver software you use, for sure postfix will never
be the performance problem if setup right to your "massive" needs.
In fact postfix is widly used for massive mail.
MfG Robert Schetterer
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Viktor Dukhovni||9/2/12 8:39 AM|
On Sun, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:43:07AM +0100, Sam Jones wrote:Running a high volume bulk email platform is not a software problem.
It is a logistics problem. Enrolling on the whitelists and feedback
loops of various large email providers, handling bounce-backs,
jumping through rate-limit hoops, ...
This is not astounding, a single ~2003 Dell 1850 Postfix server
was measured by me at ~300 msgs/sec of deliveries to real users
with nothing but a simple MegaRAID controller (with battery cache)
striping two SCSI disks. This would go another factor of 2 faster
on today's commodity servers, but the real issue is finding peers
who'll accept your mail at that rate.
Many bulk email services in fact use Postfix, Exim, ... The MTA
software is often not the bottleneck. They split bulk deliveries
over many machines (or lots of IPs on the same machine) and tune
to avoid throttling by the ESP over and above all other concerns.
Raw MTA performance is rarely a factor.
Bulk email is a logistics exercise. When you choose an bulk email
delivery service, you're buying their logistics skills and their
reputation with mailbox providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, ...)
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Sam Jones||9/2/12 11:14 AM|
I really appreciate the post Viktor. Thought provoking and clear.
I guess what I'm querying in a way is some of the sales blurb from
people like PowerMTA & GreenArrow and the remarks they make about open
source solutions like Postfix etc. This one in particular: "Open source
Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) often max out between 20 and 30 thousand
messages per hour. GreenArrow can send 300,000 messages per hour—more
than ten times as fast."
If we strip this back to hypothetical and assume a perfect world without
any issues like rate limiting and rejection, small emails with nomay
restrictions or network issues with the recipient MX's, is the above
statement plausibly true?
I'm assuming - and I've not yet looked deeply at this - that there is
probably a way to get Postfix to run parallel instances to improve
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Wietse Venema||9/2/12 1:35 PM|
> I guess what I'm querying in a way is some of the sales blurb fromThat's 7 deliveries per second, a number that you might get with
an MTA that makes one connection at a time (Sendmail, Exim).
You get larger numbers with parallel deliveries. Those are built-into
Postfix/qmail/etc. With MTAs such as Sendmail/Exim/etc. you get
parallel deliveries by using parallel submission.
Once you reach the file system performance limit, Postfix/qmail/etc.
require parallel submission as well, with different MTAs running
on top of independent file systems.
As Victor says, it is not primarily an MTA problem. The technical
problems are a matter of proper diagnosis and appropriate tuning.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Lorens Kockum||9/2/12 1:46 PM|
The exact same question was sent by someone calling himself
"Ron White" to the exim mailing list at almost exactly the same
time. Peddling one's services by soliciting comparisons with
competitors is so pass� . . .
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||John Peach||9/2/12 1:53 PM|
> competitors is so passé . . .
I find it rather useful; lets me know what I should be blocking....
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Dario Cavallaro||9/2/12 4:07 PM|
Il 02/09/2012 11:43, Sam Jones ha scritto:
> More to satisfy my own curiosity than anything else, I'm wondering about
> I have a client that currently uses and ESP who have an astounding> throughput of up to a million messages per hour. This brought up a
> discussion about high-performance MTAs and tuning and the general
> Now, I like to wipe out the fact from fiction because people like
> Can anyone on the list tell me if it's possible to performance tune> Kind thanks
In my experience, I have never had problems with performances in the
past with Postfix. Though I had stability issues, but just because we
reached out the limit of opened files (OS tuning). And it was during a
spam attack (probably around a milion email per hour during attack).
Hope this helps.
Dario "subbia" Cavallaro
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Viktor Dukhovni||9/2/12 6:56 PM|
On Sun, Sep 02, 2012 at 07:14:35PM +0100, Sam Jones wrote:> messages per hour. GreenArrow can send 300,000 messages per hour?more
> than ten times as fast."As I said, I measured 300 msgs/sec with Postfix on relatively modest
hardware in 2003. This is not too difficult, just configure sufficient
output concurrency, and provide a low latency disk (battery cache
With RAM disk (a queue-manager bottleneck analysis, circa five
years ago) Postfix yielded ~3000 msgs/sec on a dual Opteron box
delivering to the discard transport. So that's your ceiling if you
provide sufficient disk and network bandwidth, eventually the queue
manager runs out of CPU, but this is at rates approaching 10 million
messages an hour.
The throughput numbers are not that interesting anymore, I go for
reliability, security and flexibility. I also go for a solid
architecture that degrades well under load, and that's why I
really like Postfix, but this is a difficult point to make,
most people are not in a position to understand why Postfix
stands out in this regard.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||DTNX Postmaster||9/2/12 10:03 PM|
In other words, if 'we strip this back to hypothetical and assume a
perfect world without any issues', this 'GreenArrow' maxes out at
300,000 messages per hour. Postfix can send 10,8 million messages per
hour, more than 35 times as fast*.
Lies, damn lies, and vendor benchmarks, heh.
* Tests performed in an optimized lab environment. Operational
restrictions may apply in real world environments.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Stefan Foerster||9/2/12 10:05 PM|
* Sam Jones <sam_j...@btinternet.com>:
> I guess what I'm querying in a way is some of the sales blurb from> messages per hour. GreenArrow can send 300,000 messages per hour—more
> than ten times as fast."My desktop machine - the very same one I'm writing this mail on - is
currently delivering 65 messages per second to a smtp-sink. On a
single 2TB SATA drive that will probably suffer a heart attack if you
even so much as threaten it with more than 20 IOPS/s. That's while
watching a 1080p video (footage from my last holiday). With no tuning
Granted, not a real world use case, but still, don't trust everything
you read on the web.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Ralf Hildebrandt||9/3/12 12:07 AM|
* Sam Jones <sam_j...@btinternet.com>:
The problem is mostly on the receiving side, when the receiving system
starts throtteling you.
I once sent 2096/min*60min = 125.760mails/minute on mail.python.org
and there the generation of the mails is the limiting factor.
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Ralf Hildebrandt||9/3/12 12:08 AM|
* Viktor Dukhovni <postfi...@dukhovni.org>:
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Stan Hoeppner||9/3/12 4:06 AM|
On 9/3/2012 12:02 AM, DTNX Postmaster wrote:In all fairness, given your "perfect world" criteria, this ESP would be
moving a lot more mail as well, with no restrictions on the outbound
pipe or at the receiver.
But as others have correctly pointed out, the issue here isn't MTA
performance, it's administrative performance. The last thread I
responded to demonstrates this. The big advantage ESPs have is their
established relationships with the freemailers and other large mailbox
providers. These allow them greater throughput than the unwashed bulk
sender, at least into the receiver's initial queue.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||DTNX Postmaster||9/3/12 5:24 AM|
They aren't my perfect world criteria, but a direct quote from Sam
Jones' earlier buzzword compliant reply.
It was meant to illustrate the often ridiculous nature of vendor
benchmarks, how useless they are in real world situations, and
therefore how silly it is to pick software based on theoretical limits
you will most likely never hit.
Not enough sarcasm, I guess ;-)
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Jose-Marcio Martins da Cruz||9/3/12 6:04 AM|
DTNX Postmaster wrote:Not really ridiculous. All those benchmarks are interesting, as they represent,
say, the "intrinsic performance of the software". The problem is to tell (for
the vendor) and to take into account (for the reader) the conditions at which
the benchmark was done.
But, sure, two pieces of software can be compared only if measurings are done
with the same conditions. And one software which has better "intrinsic
performance" may not be better in real world conditions.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Sam Jones||9/3/12 10:37 AM|
On Sun, 2012-09-02 at 22:46 +0200, Lorens Kockum wrote:Yes, it was. Well done. The question applied to both MTA's and funny
enough, the use of Aliases on the internet is nothing new.
Thanks to those that contributed useful information. I think it's safe
to say that the sales blurb is looking at a very basic scenario.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||"Daniel L. Miller"||9/3/12 10:29 PM|
On 9/2/2012 11:14 AM, Sam Jones wrote:
>>> More to satisfy my own curiosity than anything else, I'm wondering about
>> Running a high volume bulk email platform is not a software problem.[...]
>>Knowing absolutely nothing about the software mentioned - I would say
there is a difference between messages SENT vs messages DELIVERED. I
realize many will immediately correct me and say even Postfix can't
guarantee delivery to a given recipient - merely acknowledgement of the
recipient server's acceptance - but I don't know how else to
discriminate between a single-pass of a message, without retries,
without verification, without greylist tolerance, without reporting,
just knock on the door and try to shove it on - vs reliable message
Again, knowing nothing about alternatives to Postfix - I question
whether software intended for bulk mailing purposes is designed in such
a manner. As a crude analogy, even the best machine gun doesn't have a
fraction of the accuracy of a quality sniper rifle - but on the other
hand a machine gun will put a lot more lead downrange. Different tools
for different purposes. Spray-and-Pray - or deliver the personal message.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||fletch||6/12/13 12:17 PM|
The postfix performance claims made via this thread are far-fetched to say
the least. Most postfix users will only see outbound throughput in the
range of ~250,000/hour per instance in a production setting. Yet, people on
here are claiming 10 million/hour? I guess that would be possible if a
sender were to run, say, 40 postfix instances which would be a complete
management nightmare of course.
Obviously, vendors like Port25 (company behind PowerMTA) and GreenArrow
would not be able to make any sales if the benefits of commercial software
products v. open source were not substantial.
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Wietse Venema||6/12/13 12:53 PM|
> The postfix performance claims made via this thread are far-fetched to sayIs this a troll?
I have documented Postfix performance claims on Wikipedia. Be sure
to read the cautionary note about factors outside of Postfix that
in practice limit the delivery performance.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Joe||6/12/13 12:59 PM|
On 06/12/2013 12:17 PM, fletch wrote:In our experience, postfix can blast out messages at rates which are
orders of magnitude faster than the other end is willing to receive it.
The "substantial benefits" you speak of are mainly along the lines of
easier management tools and integration of same with various other email
related components in one convenient interface.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Peer Heinlein||6/12/13 1:01 PM|
Am 12.06.2013 21:17, schrieb fletch:
You already lost.
I did this even 5-6 years ago with 3-4 millionen mails / hour in one
postfix instance on one stupid dual-xeon server with 100 MBit uplink.
They're making sales with people, that believe that people coming from a
comercial company are always and automatically better then everbody else.
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Schwedter Str. 8/9b, 10119 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 405051-42
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Geschäftsführer: Peer Heinlein -- Sitz: Berlin
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Robert Schetterer||6/12/13 1:09 PM|
Am 12.06.2013 21:17, schrieb fletch:
> The postfix performance claims made via this thread are far-fetched to say
> here are claiming 10 million/hour? I guess that would be possible if a
> Obviously, vendors like Port25 (company behind PowerMTA) and GreenArrow
> --however magic jedi software overpower setup you might use for deliver
out, you never will reach the higher powered master level , where you
can press all others to take your mails at a number in time periods you
might like , so using paid services/software for bulk maybe a good idea
by many things, comparing it to some default settings of postfix is
simply nonsense and typical marketing bla bla
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http://sys4.de, +49 (89) 30 90 46 64
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Vorstand: Patrick Ben Koetter, Axel von der Ohe, Marc Schiffbauer
Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender: Florian Kirstein
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||fletch||6/12/13 1:40 PM|
There's no way that's a production figure. You may have queued that many,
but I seriously doubt you got anything close to 3-4 million/hour when
postfix was actually conducting delivery with the remote gateways...
> > here are claiming 10 million/hour? I guess that would be possible if a
> You already lost.
> > Obviously, vendors like Port25 (company behind PowerMTA) and GreenArrow
> They're making sales with people, that believe that people coming from a> ------------------------------
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Ben Johnson||6/12/13 1:46 PM|
This point is somewhat moot, quite frankly, because the performance
claims as documented on Wikipedia state:
Postfix has been clocked at ~300 message deliveries/second across the
Internet, running on commodity hardware (a vintage-2003 Dell 1850 system
with battery-backed MegaRAID controller and two SCSI disks). This
delivery rate is an order of magnitude below the "intrinsic" limit of
2500 message deliveries/second that was achieved *with the mail queue
on a RAM disk while delivering to the "discard" transport (with a
dual-core Opteron system in 2007).*
Nobody (besides perhaps Peer) is making any claim with respect to
"real-world" performance. The performance claims as documented assume
factors only within Postfix and the computer on which it's runnings'
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||AFCommerce LLC||6/12/13 1:57 PM|
I know powermta as well as postfix and I think I can add to some of the comments on here, powermta is not cheap by any means and of course postfix is free, however pmta might have some settings out of the box that are optimized for bulk but they can not come close to postfix as far as email standards go, incoming mail, etc (in my opinion) mainly from how many servers are using it, basically postfix, exim and sendmail create the standards that a company like pmta has to try to follow.
But the main reason bulk mailers mainly pay for pmta is because it has the ability to send on many ips/hostnames far easier than postfix, since postfix wasn't built (by choice) to send from 100s of ips and domains because that can easily become a tool for a spammer (a spammer could try to modify postfix I assume). The commercial support is a 2nd reason, most of us on this list wouldn't need that type of support, but a legitimate company who doesn't have a decent support staff would be interested in that.
On Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 4:09 PM, Robert Schetterer <r...@sys4.de> wrote:
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Roel Wagenaar||6/12/13 2:09 PM|
wie...@porcupine.org (Wietse Venema) wrote:> Is this a troll?
And quite a lot of feeders too.
Linux-User #469851 with the Linux Counter; http://linuxcounter.net/
Antw.: Omdat het de volgorde verstoord waarin mensen tekst lezen.
Vraag: Waarom is top-posting een slechte gewoonte?
Vraag: Wat is het meest ergerlijke in e-mail?
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||fletch||6/12/13 3:53 PM|
What do you mean by: "...they can not come close to postfix as far as email
standards go"? My understanding is that powermta fully complies with the
Also, I'm sure there are far more spammers using free software like postfix
rather than paying for a commercial product.
> On Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 4:09 PM, Robert Schetterer <[hidden email]<http://user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=58880&i=0>
> > wrote:
>> Am 12.06.2013 21:17, schrieb fletch:
>> > The postfix performance claims made via this thread are far-fetched to
>> > -->> http://sys4.de, <a href="tel:%2B49%20%2889%29%2030%2090%2046%2064"
>> value="+498930904664">+49 (89) 30 90 46 64
>> Franziskanerstraße 15, 81669 München
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Viktor Dukhovni||6/12/13 4:00 PM|
On Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 03:53:17PM -0700, fletch wrote:Let's not go down this rabbit-hole. At this point in the thread we're no
longer talking about Postfix.
|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||Marius Gologan||6/30/13 11:38 PM|
Bulk doesn't mean to blast the world in 1 second with emails.
1) The magic of PowerMTA consists in rotating IPs base on returned codes and
returned message patterns. e.g.: if an IP addresses is banned by an ESP,
will backoff on a different IP address in order in an attempt to achieve
delivery. Thus, is designed for email marketing area, not for corporate
If you read the 330 pages guide you'll find that, by default, is sending 2
messages via 2 parallel connections. Can be increased considerable, but you
need to be a genius in 'warp speed' throttling and have IPs+Sender Domains
as Amazon SES has.
It is very limited for inbound messages handling.
2) Postfix is a true performance MTA, used world wide (mature).
The Magic of Postfix is quite complex. E.g: unlike PowerMTA, provides
dynamic/adaptive throttling which is quite intelligent. It looks like it
doesn't provide a way for rotating IPs as PowerMTA does. Thus, I don't see
how spammers prefer Postfix. I'm still learning about Postfix secrets and
how much creative can be.
In my opinion, the performance for bulk deliverability should be reduce in
Postfix, not increased, in order to meat ESP requirements in these days.
Both MTAs are designed for two different purposes, thus, you cannot compare
Postfix, on a *nix machine, is a true Email Server - a complex platform with
many features, covering all aspects and requirements you can imagine (except
the one mentioned above), but, often, many steps ahead MS Exchange.
PowerMTA is an advanced sending software application for email marketers,
covering exclusively their requirements and needs of rotating IPs per ESP.
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|Re: Bulk Mailing Performance||fjr...@gmail.com||5/23/14 12:46 PM|
Sorry to revive an old thread but I've been using Postfix for years and over the past few weeks have been evaluating both PowerMTA and GreenArrow.
To keep it short and simple, Postfix performs better. I paid an offshore programmer $400 to set up a custom config with transports for the major ISPs. It sends about 250,000 emails/hour and this is limited by the incoming mail from Interspire, not by Postfix itself.
To put that in perspective, the "standard" licenses for both PowerMTA and GreenArrow are limited to 100,000 emails/hour. If you want that limit removed the cost is for each $14,000 and $10,000 respectively.
In any case, Postfix, GreenArrow, and PowerMTA all get about the same inbox delivery rate based on seed-list monitor tests I've run. The difference is that Postfix gets all the Yahoo mail queue out in about an hour while PowerMTA takes upwards of 12 hours with their backoff rules and GreenArrow takes nearly a full day!
As many have said, this is all about administrative work and logistics, having good people and sales skills when working with the ISPs, and of course whitelisting, which is the reason that none of the three MTAs can achieve Hotmail inbox while Mandrill (MailChimp's SMTP service) consistently gets 100% inbox with Hotmail per the seed-list tests we've run.
Save your money and stick with Postfix. VimManiac is the company I used to set mine up and it rocks. The dynamic/adaptive throttling is MUCH better than PowerMTA and like I said it delivers to Yahoo multiple times faster, and with better inbox placement vs. spam box.
The only real reason to have PowerMTA is if you're an ESP or a mail administrator and need to set up multiple "Virtual MTAs" for different domains or host names. That's it's real purpose. Otherwise it's not useful for an individual user or company.