The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, Debtember 11, 2006

On the menu tonight: spam

I had dinner with my old roommate Rob tonight, and the main topic of conversation was, if you can believe it, spam.

Rob, who works at Negiyo, is dealing with similar issues that I am at The Company, only a few orders of magnitude worse (Rob was amused at the low volume we have to deal with at The Company). They have over a 150 email servers slowly melting under the strain of spam coming into their network.

Given the load, I mentioned to Rob that it sounds like Negiyo is having C10k problems with email, and that they should talk to Google. Rob didn't think that was likely.

“I've noticed that about 40% of the spam I get comes through the secondary MX record.”

“We only use one MX record,” said Rob.

“Can you set up a secondary and just dump all mail to it?”

“With over a million zones, I don't think management will accept that.” Basically, they won't change a million zone files.

“How about greylisting?”

“Too much programming,” he said. “I doubt management will go for it.”

“What about telling your customers to use Gmail?”

“It would cost too much money to partner with Google,” Rob said.

“No,” I said. “Just tell your customers to use Gmail.”

“Oh, an indirect partnership,” said Spring.

“I don't think our customers will go for that,” said Rob. “We can have 100% uptime on the webserver, but if email goes down for even five minutes, our phones light up.” Spring concurred (since she too, works for Negiyo) and yes, I have to admit, our customers are the same way.

“You could always just dump bounce messages, and messages sent to <>,” I said.

“We do that already,” said Rob.

“You guys are screwed,” I said.

“I know.”

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