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Re: Running SpamAssassin on an old Pentium

On Mon, 21 Apr 2003, Sam Varghese wrote:

> I'm writing to find out how much overhead will be created by running
> SpamAssassin on a P-133 which is already handling quite a few tasks.
> The box in question serves as the dial-in server for about 60 people,
> runs a caching-only DNS and also serves as a firewall.

The question is, how many messages are these people receiving a day, and
what is the average CPU load?  Then, how many messages can spamassassin
handle each day?

Lets test:

1) Start spamd manually
2) Write a small script to print the time, go through each file in the 
	directory and pipe it to spamc, then print the time again.
3) Do a ls | wc -l

Time:  		15 seconds
Messages:	20 mails
Specs:		166 mhz Pentium MMX / 32M of memory normally @ < 5%
			cpu usage, 66% ram usage, ~15M swap usage.
OS:		Debian Woody.
Software:	Spamassassin 2.20-1woody

(Other things running on this machine:  samba, iptables/NAT, exim, 

So, that's less then 2 seconds per email, and memory usage isn't bad.  
Being on the safe side, and assuming that SA can handle 1 message 
every 5 seconds, and that all mail is received between 8 AM and 8 PM, 
that's 14400 messages, or 240 messages per user.  If I were you, I'd
check to see what's the average email amount/user, and when the highest
email load is.  Then, run my test and see what numbers you get, when
your CPU is under the average load.  But, from what I can tell (assuming 
your numbers are similar to mine, and each user receives roughly 100 
emails/day), it should work fine.  Just remember to use spamc/spamd, 
instead of spamassassin, for the command to invoke.

If this is a web-based system, prefilter the spam messages to a 
separate folder for the users, or else give them clear advice on how 
to set up filtering under common email clients.

You also might look into bogofilter, which takes roughly the same
resources (on my machine), but tends to be more accurate.  Bogofilter
can also be implimented so that each user has their own spam/ham list.  
The downside of bogofilter is that it works best with constant 
training.  (If you offer imap, its easy enough to setup a couple of 
mail boxes to correct it, but pop3 would be a tad harder - and it would
require more technically savvy users then spamassassin.)

Hope that helps.

~ Jesse Meyer

        ...crying "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"... ~ HPL
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