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Thread: Best Options for Limiting Email Storage - What do you do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    103

    Best Options for Limiting Email Storage - What do you do?

    Over the years one of the main issues we have run into is with user email storage. With the onset of mobile devices configured with IMAP, storage for website files and data is now secondary as compared to email storage. Long gone are the days of POP mail where users would regularly remove email off the server keeping disk usage in check. The end result is that we have users with 2GB+ mailboxes - and it adds up quickly (more employees, more storage used for email). We have worked to educate users to move to professional email services like Office365 (50 GB inboxes), or simply export/delete messages that are no longer needed (do they really need 5 year old email???), yet there are those that don't understand. They often compare free GMail accounts and question why the limited storage that we provide.

    Since DA does not provide an administrative hard limit for email storage, how do others on the forum handle email storage?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Hello,

    We customized a skin in Directadmin and used a post script to verify a limit on mail accounts. We limited emails accounts to a size of not bigger than 10%-50% of an allocated space depending on a hosting package.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    103
    Hi Alex,

    Thank you for the information - that sounds like an excellent option. I presume this also prevents users from changing the individual email quotas from within DirectAdmin as well (e.g. this allows you to set a hard limit on disk usage for email) - am I correct?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    170
    We don't like to limit users mailstorage in any other way that we would limit their regular webspace. If a users runs out of space we simply sell them extra space.

    Although sometimes, when things really get out of hand (10+GB), we simply link his/her maildir to a zfs storage with compression and deduplication enabled. For most mails this saves a lot of space.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Dutch Mountains
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    Same here.
    I've got a few client-accounts that have no real website traffic and data-use, but their mailboxes take up 90% of their data-limit.
    Usually I try to explain that incoming emails 'weigh' on their hosting-limits. Most do understand that and make try to clean up their mailbox a bit. But some just let it fill up to the limit, and then come complaining they don't receive anymore emails.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vibe View Post
    ... (do they really need 5 year old email???), ...
    I've got emails in my (Yahoo) mailbox going back upto 20 years and GMail-box upto 14 years.
    Emails are sometimes used as an archive as well.
    Very occassionaly I search back into the old emails for some piece of information. Has helped me quite a few times.

    I like the idea of storing email-data on a different site, like fi the Dutch company TransIP offering StackStorage with 1 TB for free use, although I don't quite like the idea of having less control over it and I'm not sure I want to store private email-data of others there.
    Maybe if it would be possible to encrypt the stored data automaticly when stored off-site.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    170
    In our case it's not a different site. It's just a server in the same serverrack with our other stuff. I too wouldn't be the least happy if I had to store customer emails in a place I don't have 100% control over.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    103
    That is an excellent idea sysdev - thank you for the information. I will definitely look into this as some of our users receive tons of email - and never think to archive through their email client. I have one client that has been with us for over 10 years and not once have they cleaned their inbox. The main email address they use accounts for the bulk of their disk storage. They "chuckle" when they run into storage issues and I suggest cleaning out and/or archiving old and unnecessary messages. The reply is always, "Yes - I definitely need to do that one of these days."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by Vibe View Post
    That is an excellent idea sysdev - thank you for the information. I will definitely look into this as some of our users receive tons of email - and never think to archive through their email client. I have one client that has been with us for over 10 years and not once have they cleaned their inbox. The main email address they use accounts for the bulk of their disk storage. They "chuckle" when they run into storage issues and I suggest cleaning out and/or archiving old and unnecessary messages. The reply is always, "Yes - I definitely need to do that one of these days."
    Well, it's simply hard to compete with the '50GB mailbox for 2 bucks' companies and it's a waste of time to try to explain to your users that they are 'paying' with their privacy. Nobody has anything to hide, right...? Well, until you mention their dickpics...
    But linking only the maildir to a compressed partition (zfs is great for that) is a great solution. It prevents the user from misusing it with uploads and webdata and gives you more bang for a buck.

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