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SSD or HDD for Mail Server ?
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SSD or HDD for Mail Server ?

Hello,

There're lots of performance benchmark for web / db server in terms of IOPS , but rare to find for mail servers.

I ran a small mail server (postfix/dovecot/rspamd) for 3-4 years on Linode vps, but now thinking to move to a dedicated server for a much bigger storage space.

Interested in AX line at Hetzner but couldn't decide if I need soft RAID-1 SSD (standard nvme/datacenter sata ssd/datacenter nvme) or 2 enterprise HDD's in soft RAID-1.

  1. What do you guys suggest for a standard imap mail server which scan inbound and outbound mail ?

  2. How about block storage on some vps provider (especially buyvm) , does it appropriate for mail storage ?

Thank you

Comments

  • Mr_TomMr_Tom Member, Provider

    Unless you're doing a lot of mail HDD should be fine.

    If you don't need the storage go SSD, otherwise HDD will be fine.

    VM Specialist - Custom, managed and storage VM solutions.

  • How much workload does your mailserver have? You mentioned scanning, is this AV scanning through ClamAV or something?

    Block Storage at BuyVM would be appropriate, honestly I can't see a reason why any good modern node would struggle unless you're handling a significant amount of mail and users.

    Thanked by 1Francisco

    Security Consultant

  • RAMdisk routinely offloading to tape drive.

    /s

    Use HDD if it's cheaper.

    hostwp.net -- Wordpress Hosting for Developers.

  • wdmgwdmg Member, Provider

    I always recommend SSD or NVMe if you’re doing little or lots of mail. If you send large attachments and store them on the machine, then pick HDD with some NVMe/SSD cache for an optimal setup.

    Geek Solutions - Canadian based IT Infrastructure, Transit and Hosting Provider | Shared, Reseller Hosting | VPS | Cloud | Dedicated Servers | IP Transit | Managed Services | LIR Services

  • @eastonch said: is this AV scanning through ClamAV or something?

    Yes, currently it's clamav and rspamd on mail gateway. But plan to have a single mail server in the future.

  • For mail server reliability is the main goal. So HDD in RAID10 at least and triple backups. Why NVMe drives for mail? Are you running 100 000 concurrent email sessions?

    hostwp.net -- Wordpress Hosting for Developers.

  • @LTniger said: Why NVMe drives for mail? Are you running 100 000 concurrent email sessions?

    Surely not. :smile:

    But its already included in Ryzen dedi server at Hetzner.

  • TejyTejy Member

    I've always used HDD for my own mail server, and I've never experienced any issue.
    Backup and all will be right.

  • Depends on if you have email users with 20GB+ mailboxes and they like to constantly search for messages over IMAP or webmail.

  • lonealonea Member, Provider

    SSD are so cheap these days that it doesn't make sense to have HDD in servers.

    Why even bother with HDD...

    BuyWebHosting - Web Hosting for $10 per year

  • @sparek said:
    Depends on if you have email users with 20GB+ mailboxes and they like to constantly search for messages over IMAP or webmail.

    In that scenario, 2 enterprise hdd in raid -1 wont be sufficient ? Btw the server should be able to handle many 30-50gb mailboxes in the future.

  • @nvidian said:
    In that scenario, 2 enterprise hdd in raid -1 wont be sufficient ? Btw the server should be able to handle many 30-50gb mailboxes in the future.

    Try it. Let me know how it works out for you.

  • jsgjsg Member

    Two main factors: "Frequency" of mails coming in/going out, and size of mailboxes.
    As for "which kind of disk?": Don't worry about it unless you have a better than 1 Gb/s network connection, because this translates to about 100 to 120 MB/s of data transfer, so NVMe is largely nonsensical and so is even SSD. Those are desirable when you need high intra-system transfer speed (e.g. for a DB server) but for a mail server who basically just shift data from network to disk or vice versa HDD will do fine. Same for processor (SMTPd and even IMAPd isn't a heavy load unless you run a really big operation); a couple of E5-26xx v2 cores will do fine, v3 will be luxurious and Epy or Ryzen total overkill.

    That said if available for a smooth high end operation I'd prefer a SSD (for. indexing, search, etc) and HDD for email storage.

    Thanked by 2vimalware nvidian

    Thanks no.

  • @jsg said:
    Two main factors: "Frequency" of mails coming in/going out, and size of mailboxes.
    As for "which kind of disk?": Don't worry about it unless you have a better than 1 Gb/s network connection, because this translates to about 100 to 120 MB/s of data transfer, so NVMe is largely nonsensical and so is even SSD. Those are desirable when you need high intra-system transfer speed (e.g. for a DB server) but for a mail server who basically just shift data from network to disk or vice versa HDD will do fine. Same for processor (SMTPd and even IMAPd isn't a heavy load unless you run a really big operation); a couple of E5-26xx v2 cores will do fine, v3 will be luxurious and Epy or Ryzen total overkill.

    That said if available for a smooth high end operation I'd prefer a SSD (for. indexing, search, etc) and HDD for email storage.

    Thats explained everything. Thank you @jsg

  • i get ssd

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