Bulk Email Server Guide: Ready? Set… GO!

Before we begin you need a server first. I am sure you must be thrilled you are following a guide with such useful tips. And more are on the way!

No, seriously you need a server before we can start. And almost anything will do that meet minimum system requirements. If you’ll search around you can find VPS offers with more than enough to run everything we need for testing purposes for as low as 1,5€. A server like this isn’t recommended for production server as it usually comes with no SLA, but it could easily be used as an external MTA/SMTP, but more about this later.

For your production server pick a VPS or dedicated server with your preferred hosting provider. In our tests and all years of doing e-mail marketing (read setting up servers) we didn’t have any major problems with providers as far as system configuration goes. There are a few that would not allow for necessary changes to be done, but you just move to the next one if that happens. Most major hosting providers will be just fine for your perfect email server.

Local or external MTAs/SMTPs?

There is one more thing we need to go over before we start. There are three different scenarios.

Local MTAs/SMTPs

Mumara and PowerMTA will run on the same server.

Pros: Easy administration, Cheapest

Cons: Hosting providers will usually assign IPs in a range to your server so if blacklisting occur they could affect all your IPs. If your provider decides to shut you down your complete operation will stop.

External MTAs/SMTPs

Mumara will run on one server and PowerMTA will run on one or more servers.

Pros: In a case of blacklistings only one server or IP will be affected. In a case of problems with provider only one sending server is taken down so sending will continue. The server where Mumara is installed does no sending at all so you will never have problems.

Cons: More expensive, more servers to configure

Hybrid

A mix of everything. Mumara and PowerMTA on the same server with integrated external servers with PowerMTA.

The best long run scenario, of course, is using external MTAs/SMPTs.

Minimum requirements

Let's go over this again now that we know our options. How will your system be setup? Will it use local or external PowerMTA?

Local PowerMTA

Everything will run on the same server so our server must have enough power. Here are our recommendations:

5-19 IPs/domains

  • VPS or Dedicated server
  • 2 cores
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 20 GB SSD

20-99 IPs/domains

  • VPS or Dedicated server
  • 4 cores
  • 16GB RAM
  • 40 GB SSD

100+ IPs/domains

  • VPS or Dedicated server
  • 8 cores
  • 32GB RAM
  • 100 GB SSD

Here a saying we all know from Jeremy Clarkson would come in handy, POWER!!!! And more power we have the better.

External PowerMTA

In this case, Mumara will run on one more powerful server and PowerMTA will be installed on many cheaper servers. Here are our recommendations:

Main server – Mumara

  • 4 cores
  • 16GB RAM
  • 40 GB SSD
  • 1 IP

MTAs – PowerMTA

  • 1 core
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 10 GB HDD
  • 1 IP

This tutorial covers both scenarios.

Buy a server

Seriously, we are at the stage where you need your server so if you haven’t already now is the time to pick which scenario you’ll use and then buy 1 or more servers.

Like I already said. Almost anything that meets minimum system requirements will do so pick a hosting provider and get your servers up and running.

IMPORTANT
All your servers no matter what scenario you’ll go with must have CentOS 6 x64 minimal installed. If you’ll pick a different version or distro chances are this tutorial will not be much help to you.

When you have your root login credentials continue to the next step.

ninjaReady? Set… GO!

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