No longer a full time Mailserver user, but impressed by the changes

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JoeyR

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Jun 19, 2019, 3:54:37 PM6/19/19
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Hi everyone!

Just wanted to revisit this group, and give kudos to Archie for continuing to develop this product.  My last official run of Argosoft Mail Server was late 2018 at version 1.0.8.9, and I have since moved to a more "traditional" email server setup on Linux using Dovecot and Postfixadmin.  However, I have been keeping watch on the changes and improvements to this application, and recently rolled out a new installation to try out on a modestly-configured* Server 2016 VM. 

*2GB RAM, 40GB SSD space, 4-cores of an older Xeon E5-2690... Mailserver is the only running primary application



Through limited testing, I have determined the following:

  • The mail server is still as easy as ever to set up.

  • The new recommendations feature is excellent and provides more in-depth information as to how the server is seen from external locations.

  • The server still seems to run well with and is best configured with a single domain; the more domains you add, the more complex a setup you will have.  

  • The bug that I discovered with regard to IMAP and third-party mail webmail clients has been squashed.  I have to go back and look at some of my previous messages on this and test more, but so far it looks good!

  • An annoying bug still exists since the early .net versions that causes the mail server service to either not start when Windows does, or quickly terminate upon startup.  This requires the user to RDP into the system or otherwise connect remotely to Windows SCM and manually restart the service.  I daresay that if I had to put this into full-time production again, I would still have to use my old method to script the restart of the mail server service periodically.

  • The new built-in webmail server is a welcome addition, missed since the days of the non .net version of this application.  If and when server administration is added, this may allow admins to restart the mail server service via web, without needing RDP at all.  This also might be perfect for the mail server to run in server core environments.

And now, just a brief poll:  

Of those people reading this, what version of the mail server are you on, what core OS are you running, and is the hardware dedicated or virtualized?  

I assume in true server environments you will need to run this on Windows Server 2012 (soon to be rid of long-term support), Server 2016 or Server 2019, but I am also curious if people are using this in production on Windows 10.  I would also think that running on a dedicated server would yield you better performance overall.  Finally, IP reputation does count for a lot, so if your instance is on a "dirty" network, any mail server is doomed to be less than reliable.

Anyway... although my opinion may seem trite, since I am in essence a defector compared to the loyalists who have stuck with Argo from the beginning, I do feel confident once again in recommending this software to people who want to manage their own server.

Thank you,
Joe

Archie

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Jun 19, 2019, 10:10:38 PM6/19/19
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WOW!  Thanks for your comments Joe!  I really appreciate them.

I would put couple of notes though:

  • about server not starting with Windows.  It happens when SQL server is in use.  Even though SQL Server was listed as a dependency in earlier versions of mail server, at times when SQL server was used as default, by some reason, SQL service was not starting properly, and was causing the mail server startup to fail.  Now, with SQLite engine by default this problem should not exist, and if it does, you can set the service startup as Automatic (Delayed start), rather then just Automatic from Service Control Manager.  I do not set it by default during install, because the problem is relatively rare, and majority of users are using SQLite;
  • About your suggestion, to restart the server using web interface.  The problem here is that web interface itself is the part of service, and if we request restart, it may cause problems.  I will explore some other ways at some point, but it may not be an issue, if you consider the note above.
I am sorry you switched to another server, and again, thanks for your comments.

Archie

JoeyR

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Jun 19, 2019, 11:11:00 PM6/19/19
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Archie,

I was using the default SQLite Installation on this test deployment - I was not using MSSQL Server at all, and mail server still failed to start after a reboot.  Perhaps it is looking for specific network connectivity and my specific VM is not making the network adapter available in time?  I know this happened with both VMWare, Citrix Xen, and a dedicated hardware server, so something is definitely up.

Also, when I mentioned the possibility of using the web interface to manage the server, for full management via web, the web interface would have to be branched out as a service of its own.  This way, the mail server and web server are running separately.  This is the way it used to work anyway, when your web interface ran under IIS.

-Joe

Archie

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Jun 20, 2019, 5:11:22 AM6/20/19
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Hi Joe,

I guess, it is not only SQL server that may cause the server not to start.  But still, I will be leaving up to user to make startup Delayed.  It may be confusing if I do it in the installer.

About restarting from web interface.  I could make separate services restart independently, except for Web, but it will still not help with the above problem.  With earlier web interface web interface was served via IIS, now it is the part of service itself.

Thanks again :-)

Archie

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