Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1996)
 

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Subject: Mailing list hardware question
From: Mark J Bradakis <mjb @ spitfire . cs . utah . edu>
Date: Wed, 29 May 1996 18:28:58 -0400
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

I know this could easily get out of hand, but I'm wondering about changing
a mailing list server.  Currently, it is an HP/715 with 32 megs of RAM,
a SPECint92 rating of 36, SPECfp of 72.

It serves a couple of dozen automotive related lists, under majordomo,
with a "fanout" of about 2.5 million messages per month, where fanout is a
somewhat useless number found by multiplying the number of list members by
the number of messages.

That is, if there are 500 members, and 1,000 messages per month, that's a
fanout of 500,000 per month.  Better metrics for mailing list loads would
also be welcome.

So I'm currently wondering if some Pentium based PC, with a decent ethernet
card, can handle the load.  The machine also serves as an FTP site, with a
dozen or so connections during the day, and as a web server.  The CPU is
usually about 90% idle, while it waits for disk IO and 30 to 40 packets
per second to get pumped out to a fairly busy net.  Could a new Pentium,
running Linux, perhaps, handle this sort of work?

mjb.

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