The cPanel Mail Server – cPanel Eats Its Own Dog Food

“Eating your own dog food” is a popular practice amongst companies where the employees are encouraged, and often do, use their own product in real life scenarios. The phrase “eating your own dog food” was purported to have been coined in the 1970s when television advertisements for Alpo Dog Food. Spokesman Lorne Greene pointed out that he had fed Alpo to his own dogs. Another possibility, even stranger, was a story of the president of Kal Kan Pet Food eating a can of his dog food at shareholders’ meetings. In 1988, test managers for Microsoft VLAN Manager sent out an email titled “Eating our own Dog Food” as a challenge to increase internal Microsoft usage of the product. While cPanel does not encourage or participate in the eating of dog food (except our furry office friends), we do encourage and advocate for the internal testing and usage of our product.

The cPanel Mail Server

Whether it is the email that employees send and receive, or the tickets that customers send, or the notifications we get from our build and testing suite, email is critical to our business. If you have sent or received an email that involved a cPanel employee or mailing list, then that mail has touched our mail server. What does our server run on you ask? It’s a cPanel Mail Server, running the newest version of cPanel & WHM there is! So let’s take a behind the scenes look at its capabilities.

By the Numbers

We have over 400 accounts sending and receiving email on our email server. These 400+ accounts are subscribed to (or manage) over 200 mailing lists, combining for a staggering 2T (two terabytes) worth of email storage. On average, there are tens of thousands of messages that are processed per hour on this system. Of the tens of thousands of messages sent, approximately 97.5% of these messages are delivered within 60 seconds of being sent. Pretty interesting, eh? Well sure, 97.5% sounds like a good number, but what does that mean? Let’s break that down:

For an in-depth breakdown and some hard numbers, we’re going to take a look at a window of ~64 hours on our mailserver:

  • Received Messages: 99,749 messages (2494MB) to 513 unique addresses, 1589 delayed emails with a failure rate of 1.6%
  • Sent Messages: 414,691 messages (12GB) to 425,429 unique addresses
  • Rejected Messages: 7144
  • Temp Rejects: 1332

For the same range of messages, how about the amount of mail delivered per hour? In the chart below, the number of messages delivered per hour is displayed as a series of dots. In this case, each dot represents specifically 607 messages delivered.

00-01 8911 …………..
01-02 9297 ……………
02-03 10269 …………….
03-04 13821 ………………….
04-05 14927 ……………………
05-06 13259 …………………
06-07 15920 ……………………..
07-08 20637 ……………………………
08-09 24769 ………………………………….
09-10 25443 …………………………………..
10-11 25796 ……………………………………
11-12 24225 …………………………………
12-13 30131 ………………………………………….
13-14 26220 …………………………………….
14-15 30349 ………………………………………….
15-16 25867 ……………………………………
16-17 19718 …………………………..
17-18 17883 ………………………..
18-19 11730 ……………….
19-20 8224 ………….
20-21 10158 …………….
21-22 8827 …………..
22-23 8370 ………….
23-24 9940 …………….

Make Your Own Dog Food

As you can see, cPanel & WHM has proven to be a highly effective mail server. The good news for system administrators and end users out there is this reflects what you can get out of a properly powered and configured cPanel & WHM server. So you want to configure your server to be a mail server as well? Great! We can help you with that. Before we get into the how let’s talk about some of the various improvements that have been made in cPanel & WHM for email service and delivery.

Version 72

Version 72 Release Notes

  • Spam Filtering–  we have added the ability to configure Spam Filter Thresholds per-email account. We also updated and improved the Spam Filtering interface in cPanel.
  • Spammer Alerts– we have improved the Large Amount of Outbound Email feature from Version 68 by making the threshold configurable.
  • Email Search Improvements- adding onto the IMAP full-text searching functionality added in v64, version 72 included a feature that allows webmail users to trigger a re-index of their own email account.

Version 74

Version 74 Release Notes

  • Stop Spammers and Protect Your Reputation Instantly- server owners can now select the action that the server should automatically perform when it detects potential spammers.
  • Protect Your Users from Malicious Email- Apache SpamAssassin Spam Box is now enabled by default for new cPanel accounts, protecting users from common attack vectors.

Version 76

Version 76 Release Notes

  • Updated Domain Selection List– updated the domain selection list in the following WHM interfaces so that they could swiftly handle large numbers of domains: Delete a DNS Zone, Edit DNS Zone, Edit MX Entry, Reset a DNS Zone, Set Zone Time to Live

Version 78

Version 78 Release Notes

Want to get started?

The power of cPanel & WHM is that your mailserver is installed and configured from the start! We also give you tons of options for adjusting your mailserver configuration, as well. Give our guide on configuring Mailserver a read to see all of the options at your fingertips. If you would like to discuss the cPanel mail server, email deliverability, or have any questions about email in general, please join us on our Slack or Discord channels, or subscribe to our official cPanel Subreddit!

Posted by Web Monkey

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