1 Page 1 of 8 Mithi Connect Server deployment options aintroduction 2 Mail servers 2 Single/Standalone server setups 2 Multiple server setups 4 Co-existence with proprietary mailing solutions such as Exchange & Lotus Domino 7 Non mail server setups 7 Relay / SMTP server 7 Web mail / front end server 7 DR server 8
2 Page 2 of 8 Introduction The document MCS Tech Overview explained the capability of Mithi Connect Server (MCS). This document explains some of the ways in which MCS can be deployed. Mithi Connect Server can be setup to do specialized tasks such as mail relay, mail cleaning, mail archiving, web mail, disaster recovery etc. without hosting any user s mail boxes, or it can be configured to perform the above tasks in addition to hosting mail boxes for the users. This document is organized in two sections. The first section explains the working of Mithi Connect Server when deployed as a mail server (one which hosts users mail boxes) and the second section explains the working of Mithi Connect Server when deployed for special functions. Mail servers Mail servers can be setup as standalone servers or can be deployed as part of a multi-server setup. The number of servers, the mail architecture and the distribution of servers for an organization is decided by taking into account factors such as the number of users, the geographical distribution of the users, the mail access methods, the Internet connectivity, intra-office connectivity etc. The following paragraphs describe popular standalone and multi-server installations of Mithi Connect Server. Single/Standalone server setups gateway Setting up a mail server in the office that is configured to fetch mail from an ISP server hosting the domain is one of the most popular setups for small organizations or organizations where the infrastructure is not sufficient to host Internet mail servers. In such a setup, the ISP hosts the Internet domain for the organization. The ISP may give all or some of the following functionality: Catchall accounts
3 Page 3 of 8 Individual accounts for some/all users on the domain Clean mail services Web access POP access The Mithi Connect Server deployed in-house is configured to fetch mail from the ISP server and deliver to the local mail box of the users. In case the ISP hosts a catch-all account, then the server fetches from the account and distributes the mail to individual users. The advantages of deploying MCS as the gateway are the following: Reduced bandwidth usage (as the local mail remain on the server) Security of mail Lower investments in infrastructure The end users directly access their mail boxes on the server via the LAN/WAN. If the server is accessible via the Internet, then roaming users can also connect to the server via the Internet. When configured as an gateway, the following services and applications are active on the server: Mail server (with or without spam control, depending on ISP capability) Mail fetcher LDAP server Web client Web calendar Address book Administrative applications The following services can also be activated Proxy IM & Chat server FTP server Internet mail server Organizations who have a good data center with a stable link to the Internet can host their own mail servers. These servers are accessible on the Internet and the MX record of the domain points directly to this server allowing other mail servers to directly deliver mail to the server.
4 Page 4 of 8 The users mail boxes are also created on the same server and accessed by the end users on the LAN/WAN. Since the server is accessible via the Internet, roaming users can also connect to the server to access their accounts. When configured as an Internet mail server, the following services and applications are active on the server: Mail server (with or without spam control, depending on ISP capability) LDAP server Web client Web calendar Address book Administrative applications The following services can also be activated Proxy IM & Chat server FTP server Although this setup is popular for organization with limited users or limited mailing requirements, it is advisable to have a separate appliance/server act as the MX server for the domain. The MX server can be a Mithi Connect Server configured to clean mail or a third party appliance. Multiple server setups When more than one Mithi Connect Server machines hosts a single domain, then the setup is a multiple server setup. All the servers are configured in the enterprise mode with a single master and one or more slaves. The servers can be located at a single site or geographically distributed.
5 Page 5 of 8 Central site Multiple servers can be setup at a central site, in which case the servers are used to balance the load using component load balancing and/or network load balancing. In component load balancing, different functions are handled by different servers. For example one server can be dedicated to handle POP and SMTP requests, whereas the other to handle HTTP and LDAP. In network load balanced mode, all servers handle all types of requests and a load balancer is responsible for distributing the load between the servers. Examples of both types of setups are given below: Component load balancing One of the popular deployments where components are load balanced is to have two servers at a central location. One of the servers (relay server) handles the SMTP traffic from the Internet and LAN/WAN and the other (mail server) handles the POP/HTTP/LDAP traffic. In such a setup, all the SMTP level services such as spam check, virus check, mail policies, RBL etc are enabled only on the relay server. Also access to POP/LDAP/HTTP is disabled on the Relay server. On the mail server, where the mail boxes are hosted, all the SMTP checks are disabled to reduce load on the server. The other services such as Proxy, IM & Chat and FTP can be configured on any one server. Mail routing settings between the servers ensure that all mail to and from the Internet flows through the relay server. Network load balancing In a network load balanced setup, two or more MCS servers are deployed. All the servers have identical configuration and access a common storage where the mail store for the users are created. The load between the servers is balanced using a load balancer, which checks the availability and quality of service on the servers before redirecting requests to the server.
6 Page 6 of 8 All the servers will run all the services related to mailing. The additional services such as IM & Chat, Calendar, Proxy and FTP can be configured on any one server. Distributed sites Multi server distributed setups are best suited for organizations, which are geographically spread and the number of users in the remote offices is large enough to warrant a server at the location. In such a deployment, the central site will have one or more Mithi Connect Servers. In addition the remote sites will also have Mithi Connect Servers. The remote servers ensure that the local mailing happens on LAN. Also the other services such as Proxy, FTP etc can be enabled at the remote sites.
7 Page 7 of 8 Co-existence with proprietary mailing solutions such as Exchange & Lotus Domino Whether it is a single server setup or a multi server setup, Mithi Connect Server can be setup to co-exist with the existing mail servers such as Exchange 5.5 / Exchange / Lotus Domino Co-existence allows users on the same domain to be distributed across the Exchange 5.5 / Exchange / Lotus Domino 5.5+ and MCS servers. The directory synchronization and mail flow between the servers is automated. Non mail server setups This class of servers does not host any mail boxes, but do specialized functions such as clean mail, archiving, web mail etc. Relay / SMTP server A relay or SMTP server handles the SMTP load. It can be set to the following: Detect and quarantine virus infected mail Detect and mark spam mail Archive incoming and outgoing mail Do domain masquerading A relay server is usually configured to receive mail from the Internet and also deliver outgoing mail. Depending on the mail flow one or more relay servers can be deployed. Web mail / front end server A Mithi Connect Server can be setup as the web mail client for other mail servers. Apart from mail servers hosted on MCS, the front end server can give web mail access to any servers supporting IMAP access. When the front end server is accessed from the Internet, roaming users can access their mail boxes on internal servers which are not directly accessible over the Internet.
8 Page 8 of 8 When setup as a front end server for mail servers other than MCS, some features such as the Options page are not available. DR server A Mithi Connect Server can be set up as a disaster recovery server for another Mithi Connect Server. In such a setup, the DR server is periodically synced with the primary server. All the information and settings including the mail store is synced. On failure of the primary server, the DR server has to be made as the primary, manually. This is done by following the steps from the operations manual and/or updating the DNS settings. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Mithi makes no warranty of any kind regarding this material and assumes no responsibility for any errors that may appear in this document. Mithi Software Technologies, Mithi Connect Server, Mithi Web Mail, Mithi Personal Address Book, Mithi Global Address Book, Mithi Corporate Directory, ithinkshop, IndiaInteractive, IndiaPage, mailjol, mailjol Unplugged, Mithi Enterprise Messaging are trademarks of Mithi Software Technologies. Other product names mentioned in this document are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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