Hardware Info and Suggested Specs
LinuxMagic has provided MagicMail servers to almost every class and every size of ISP, and hardware recommendation requests are very common. Because of the flexible architecture of MagicMail and it's unique clustering ability, recommendations vary greatly depending on your size, and intended use.
When purchasing MagicMail, you will have an opportunity to discuss your individual needs, and we can assist you in determining what is right for your environment, however as a guide, MagicMail will run on almost any INTEL platform, and also integrate with most storage solutions, including for the smaller ISPs simple software or hardware RAID, to SAN solutions, to NAS devices such as NetApp or other manufacturers products that support NFS. It is the responsibility of the ISP to ensure that it is supported by recent Linux Kernels, and avoid those with proprietary hardware drivers. You can look to your hardware vendor for more details, however opensource Linux Drivers are available for most platforms, especially hardware that has been in circulation for at least a year. Since MagicMail is so light in performance requirements, avoid 'Bleeding Edge' hardware, both for cost and for compatibility issues. Most standard Intel based servers that are typically found in ISP deployments, such as Dell, HP, IBM and most common 'WhiteBox' servers have been used successfully in MagicMail deployments.
Front end servers can usually be more lightweight, with the back end servers requiring a little more decision care, especially when it comes to I/O Performance. CPU and Memory requirements are usually quite low, but I/O Performance becomes paramount in larger installations. Remember, avoid RAID 5 deployments whenever possible for High I/O environments, and if your budget allows, we recommend RAID 10 solutions, with a HOTSWAP Spare. And since the price of RAM is now so very low, we suggest always putting at least 8GB in each front end, and 16GB in back end servers in high volume clusters.
There is no need to 'overbuild' on MagicMail deployments, but rather as you expand you may simply add extra front end servers as you scale. Because MagicMail not only performs email processing, but can do many other services, typically most larger ISP's are interested in the High Volume License, and Clustering Models.
Whenever possible, consider using 2 Gigabit ethernet cards in each system in a MagicMail cluster, and consider the benefits of a load balancer in favour of DNS Round robin techniques if your budget can handle it. Good Hardware Load balancers are now less than $2000 in some places, and a very good investment. And remember, because of the wide variety of sizes, we do not make any specific recommendations for server backups, however you are free to use your favourite Linux Backup Utilities on all MagicMail systems, and make your own choices on backup and email retention policies.
If you need further information, please ask your sales team member to arrange a conference with one of our email experts, for a more detailed recommendation.