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Re: Mailbox, Mysql or Folder.

On Thu, 1 Nov 2012 18:55:34 +0500
Muhammad Yousuf Khan <sirtcp@gmail.com> wrote:

> now i want to decide the email storage strategy where i am confuse a
> bit to choose the correct path.
>  i remember someone once suggested me that i should store emails
> directly into my harddisk in to file formate instead of MYsql
> database. the point behind was that if database corrupted  then whole
> data will be lost but on the other hand if i store email in folder it
> can be recovered easily . (apart from mysql database backup and
> restore strategy) since i am very new to mail server i would like to
> learn from your experience and expert opinion that what route should i
> choose?
Exactly right. Do you want maximum security or maximum usability?

As others have mentioned here, Exchange uses a database, in part for
ease of searching but also for security. There is no reliable way to
restore a single mailbox, and if your server dies badly, there's pretty
much no way to use even a backup of the database on any other hardware.
The encryption of the database is tied into security numbers created
with the OS installation.

Excellent security for confidential email (as required in certain
industries in the US), but the whole lot is gone if you can't recover
the server OS installation. The workaround is to run the server
virtual, so it can be restored to different physical hardware without a
change of installation environment. You virtualise the server in order
to have a reasonable chance of disaster recovery of your email...

If the server is still there but the database is damaged, it is often
possible to restore a backup to a specially-created mount point, from
which repairs may be effected. It doesn't always work, and hasn't
either of the times I tried it. Then it's a restore of the entire OS
from a backup tens of gigabytes in size. And you don't know what
resource-hungry means until you've seen Exchange or SQL Server
running. Exchange does transaction-rollback, and doesn't commit its
journal until the next backup.

Obviously, MySQL isn't going to be so difficult to deal with, and it
can be easily backed up and restored to another instance. It can be
dumped as plain text, and indeed in the form of SQL statements to
rebuild the database elsewhere. I assume you could store it in an
encrypted filesystem if you needed to, though that would make recovery
a little harder if you didn't keep good backups.

I store mail as plain text files. Next to no security, but I don't have
valuable and confidential emails, and I value the ability to read them
with just about any program, or recover most/all of them from most
kinds of failure, from a rescue boot medium. Backing up is a trivial
file copy.

Microsoft has no other mail server but Exchange. With Linux, you have a
wide choice.


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