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Planning on using Ramnode's Massive KVM for a mail server. Good idea?
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Planning on using Ramnode's Massive KVM for a mail server. Good idea?

I already have a small VPS on Ramnode for personal stuff but I wanna setup some small mail server for some friends and myself to stop relying on Gmail and stuff. The thing is I checked my own IP in the existing VPS to check if it was blacklisted (it's in Atlanta) and it is in a couple of lists of spam: UCEPROTECT-Level3 and SORBS spam. Is this common with this provider? One of the lists apparently is easy to talk to but I haven't tried getting delisted and the other one it's at a provider level issue.

Do any of you have a dedicated mail server over there? Should I worry? Should I just go for it?

Comments

  • [cough] ... mxroute ... [cough]

    "Linux will run happily with only 4 MB of RAM, including all of the bells and whistles such as the X Window System, Emacs, and so on." (M. Welsh & L. Kaufman, Running Linux, 2e, 1996, p. 32)

  • Sorry I'm not talking about managed e-mail services. Please refrain from promoting those services to me. We don't want to rely on a managed mail server. It's not the point and nothing related to the question.

  • You can use mxroute as your outgoing mail

    Or use some SMTP service like Amazon SES so that you don't need to worry about blacklist

  • definitelyliamdefinitelyliam Member, Provider
    edited February 11

    As long as the RAM and CPU requirements are decent go for it. A mail server stack excluding ClamAV isn't too hard on the spec requirement.

    Personally, I just use a VPS for my own + MailBaby's SMTP relay so I don't have to rely on my server's IP address. If that doesn't work for you, request for a blocklist removal. HetrixTools has a blacklist monitor that shows you where you're blocked.

    As long as you follow the setup correctly (correct SPF, DKIM) it shouldn't be too much of a problem. For critical email though I would rely on a relay if the option was available. Too many variables at play to keep consistent delivery.

    TeraDelta - cPanel and DirectAdmin Hosting

  • Yo! @Francisco - help these guys out. They don't know how to tag ya.

    @ffuentes - any VPS will do as mail server, as long as you have the resources for the size of it. Check out easy to install projects, like Mailcow for example.

    Fastmako (aff) - another cheap VPS.

  • @ffuentes said:
    Sorry I'm not talking about managed e-mail services. Please refrain from promoting those services to me. We don't want to rely on a managed mail server. It's not the point and nothing related to the question.

    If you want reliability, then a managed email service is a must. These services exist precisely because email is really hard to reliably send. You can't say "I don't want a managed email service" and also say that you want to have a reliable email sending experience.

    If you're fine with the occasional drop and are willing to deal with the blacklists, then there shouldn't be any issue.

    I would still recommend you to save the hassle and just go with an email relay service like Amazon SES, its dirt cheap and much more reliable.

    Thanked by 2o_be_one maverickp
  • jarjar Provider
    edited February 11

    @ffuentes said: UCEPROTECT-Level3 and SORBS

    I cant find any recent logs on my outbound relays indicating either sorbs or uceprotect as responsible for any rejected email. Generally RBLs are only used for rejection purposes, and at least some providers clearly indicate which RBL they used when they reject. I'm inclined to consider those two no longer relevant today. Surely if they were I'd have hit at least one recently as IPs do get blacklisted from time to time when customer emails get compromised (even if they're cleaned soon after, and not allowed to be the cause of delivery failures).

    Edit: Come to think of it I think one listing at sorbs is the only active one I've had for a while (and it's just one IP), so maybe I'm not a great sample.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    @jar said: I cant find any recent logs on my outbound relays indicating either sorbs or uceprotect as responsible for any rejected email.

    To date I only know of Microsoft using UCE.

    @default said: Yo! @Francisco - help these guys out. They don't know how to tag ya.

    You shot who in the what now?

    Francisco

    BuyVM - Free DirectAdmin, Softaculous, & Blesta! / Anycast Support! / Windows 2008, 2012, & 2016! / Unmetered Bandwidth!
    BuyShared - Shared & Reseller Hosting / cPanel + Softaculous + CloudLinux / Pure SSD! / Free Dedicated IP Address
  • jsgjsg Member

    @ffuentes
    FWIW: I have been running my own mail server(s) for at least 10 years and very, very rarely had a problem. I've used two providers, both quite good but not high end; something one might call decent LET providers.
    Both VPSs (main and fallback) are on the small to medium side (2 vCores, 1 - 2 GB mem) and in fact (deliberately) over-sized. Both have run for years with spindles but nowadays have SSDs. Both are easily good enough for thousands of emails per day (much more than I need).

    My email system takes care of all emails for about a dozen domains, none of which - which probably is important - does any mass mailings, although I allow that if all recipients have gone through opt-in.

    Probably relevant side note: I also run my own name servers and can - and do - create all necessary and desirable records.

    Final remark: if I ever needed to run mass mailings I'd do that via a specialized provider, probably @jar / mxroute.

    Thanked by 1angelius

    The problem with democracy is that by definition > 85% of the voters are not particularly intelligent.

  • Note also some mail providers just ban providers ips ranges. Honestly i would not rely on only 1 server for my personnal mails... But if i did choose this, i would use AWS SES as outbound server for most reliability.

    I guess you want to leave gmail because of privacy, there is specialized managed providers for privacy with e2ee. I understand you don't want to hear about, but it's also normal that we offer reliable alternatives to answer your thread that is starting in a good way to encounter few issues.

    Good luck :).

    DevOps and Site Reliability Engineer. Looks cool when i know what i do.
    Doing useless stuffs on amazing providers services because... Why not?
  • marvelmarvel Member, Provider

    @o_be_one said:
    Note also some mail providers just ban providers ips ranges. Honestly i would not rely on only 1 server for my personnal mails... But if i did choose this, i would use AWS SES as outbound server for most reliability.

    I guess you want to leave gmail because of privacy, there is specialized managed providers for privacy with e2ee. I understand you don't want to hear about, but it's also normal that we offer reliable alternatives to answer your thread that is starting in a good way to encounter few issues.

    Good luck :).

    Yeah some blacklist just add the entire /24 if one IP in it is sending spam.

    I'm running a few smtp instances with postfix for outgoing mail only. It's running for years without any issues although I had some downtime once when the SSL cert expired and I forgot to monitor it.

    Still though, it's another component you need to manage, patch, monitor etc. so I rather get rid of it. I wasn't aware of SES but it looks nice. I might switch to that for outgoing email.

    But yeah to be on-topic I would really advise against running your own email server. Especially if the IP is dirty I would not even consider it.

    Thanked by 1o_be_one
  • @angstrom said:
    [cough] ... mxroute ... [cough]

    @ffuentes said:
    Sorry I'm not talking about managed e-mail services. Please refrain from promoting those services to me. We don't want to rely on a managed mail server. It's not the point and nothing related to the question.

    then use mxroute + gnupg and no "manager" can read your emails.

    the stench of zeitgeist

  • @ffuentes said:
    Sorry I'm not talking about managed e-mail services. Please refrain from promoting those services to me. We don't want to rely on a managed mail server. It's not the point and nothing related to the question.

    The title of your thread contains "Good idea?", which I obliquely responded to, so my response was indeed related to the question (but perhaps it wasn't the response that you wanted to hear).

    Anyway, it doesn't matter how big the server is, or whether it's a VPS or a dedi. Try to delist your IP from the blacklists that it's on (or don't try), and set up your own mail server and see how it works.

    Thanked by 2t0ny0 skorous

    "Linux will run happily with only 4 MB of RAM, including all of the bells and whistles such as the X Window System, Emacs, and so on." (M. Welsh & L. Kaufman, Running Linux, 2e, 1996, p. 32)

  • @hyperblast said:

    @angstrom said:
    [cough] ... mxroute ... [cough]

    @ffuentes said:
    Sorry I'm not talking about managed e-mail services. Please refrain from promoting those services to me. We don't want to rely on a managed mail server. It's not the point and nothing related to the question.

    then use mxroute + gnupg and no "manager" can read your emails.

    I'm not gonna use an external smtp server for this particular project. One good idea I read above your comment was having a smtp in one place and the rest of stuff in other so if that ip gets hit it's easy to switch without moving anything else but my plan is having everything together in one server and maybe another one as a relay/fallback.

    Stop promoting a specific service to me. You just make me not want to take it.

    @jsg said:
    @ffuentes
    FWIW: I have been running my own mail server(s) for at least 10 years and very, very rarely had a problem. I've used two providers, both quite good but not high end; something one might call decent LET providers.
    Both VPSs (main and fallback) are on the small to medium side (2 vCores, 1 - 2 GB mem) and in fact (deliberately) over-sized. Both have run for years with spindles but nowadays have SSDs. Both are easily good enough for thousands of emails per day (much more than I need).

    My email system takes care of all emails for about a dozen domains, none of which - which probably is important - does any mass mailings, although I allow that if all recipients have gone through opt-in.

    Probably relevant side note: I also run my own name servers and can - and do - create all necessary and desirable records.

    Final remark: if I ever needed to run mass mailings I'd do that via a specialized provider

    This is useful. If I wanted to do mass mailing I'd try something like a dedicated SMTP service but this has nothing to do with it.

    Probably relevant side note: I also run my own name servers and can - and do - create all necessary and desirable records.

    What's the difference between having your own and using a provider's control panel?

  • imokimok Member

    @ffuentes said: Stop promoting a specific service to me. You just make me not want to take it.

    They will skip that part anyway.

  • I have been running my own mail server for the last 2 years, previously it was on Linode but last year I moved to Hetzner and changed the domain name for the mail server.
    On Hetzner new IP was listed at one of the services. Apparently, the previous owner had some malicious program to send the spam emails. I did some research about these things and blacklists.
    But just not let make it a big deal for you. If one or two services have you blacklisted, it will merely affect 1% of your emails considering that 1% of the mail server relies on these services to detect spam emails.

    If you are really concerned about these and want to get delisted, it's not that hard just write down to them and if they have a good support team (which is not in some services case but you can get lucky) you might get delist in a day or two. I was delisted in a couple of days after submitting my request to SORBS, they had track of activities due to which your server got listed. you can check that logs as well by searching their database.

  • @agroup said:

    But just not let make it a big deal for you. If one or two services have you blacklisted, it will merely affect 1% of your emails considering that 1% of the mail server relies on these services to detect spam emails.

    If you are really concerned about these and want to get delisted, it's not that hard just write down to them and if they have a good support team (which is not in some services case but you can get lucky) you might get delist in a day or two. I was delisted in a couple of days after submitting my request to SORBS, they had track of activities due to which your server got listed. you can check that logs as well by searching their database.

    Yeah, right before posting this I realized that you can get delisted and that sometimes it's fairly easy to do so.

  • I recently set up poste.io using caprover.com and it was surprisingly easy. Managing your own dns, and the email server, ought to help with delivery. Especially if you and your friends will be using it with each other. Just be sure to proactively email each other and use each other’s addresses a lot.

    Try using Cloudron.io too. It’s self hosting and not too expensive for the email side of things. For what’s it’s worth, I like that both use your domain as part of the authenticity side of sending.

  • jsgjsg Member

    @ffuentes said:
    What's the difference between having your own and using a provider's control panel?

    More freedom and any and all record types you want (and your dns software supports). I personally still use NSD although I occasionally tried others like e.g. Knot.

    The "disadvantage" for panel users obviously is that you must know your stuff and must edit ascii files.

    Btw, wrt "listed IPs", I prefer the approach to use a provider with a strict policy and a good reputation (rather than negotiating with anti-spam people, some of which seem to be more of a mafia than really providing a community service, e.g. the spamhouse gang).

    The problem with democracy is that by definition > 85% of the voters are not particularly intelligent.

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