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Turbo charge your slow IPAD-OS mail server.

Is your IPAD-OS mail server getting progressively slower? Do you notice that mail takes a very long time to receive or deliver? How do you handle a virus infected user? What can you do to improve mail performance or recover your performance after a very large email volume?

The good news is that you may not need to get a faster CPU or a new motherboard. You might be able to regain your top performance with a little software tuning, some file cleaning and maybe a new hard drive.

Here is the standard list of things to check to make sure your IPAD-OS mail server is always running at top speed even when it is burdend under a very heavy mail load.

  1. High Performance Hard Drive. Make sure you have the highest performance hard drive you can get. The best drive for a mail server has:
    • Large hardware cache - The larger, the better.
    • High spindle speed - Faster is better.
    • High data throughput - Use the highest data communication rate your motherboard can support. This includes using high quality cables that are in good condition. Damaged and sharply crimped cables with loose connectors are likely to degrade the signal, introduce noise and lower the data rate. The best hard drive in the world can't help you if the cable or connection is poor.
  2. Software Cache. Make sure SMARTDRV is loading without errors and is not using an excessively large cache size. Excessively large SMARTDRV cache size puts extra load on the CPU which the IPAD-OS can't attribute to disk loading. A software cache between 2 and 4 megabytes has shown to be the sweet spot if you have a fast hard drive.
  3. Mail Flooding. Look at the mailout directory for lots of *.D files about the same size. Look inside some of them with a text editor to see if it is spam, virus infection or some other unwanted junk that violates your terms of service. Make a note of the source on the RECEIVED: line at the top of the message, not the FROM: line in the message header. This is because the FROM: line is easy to fake while the RECEIVED: line at the top of the header is added by the IPAD-OS mail server itself.
    • Stop the source. Suspend the infected user account or block the source IP address to stop more of this mail from getting into your server from that source.
    • Delete the garbage. If you find a large quantity of problem mail (e.g. spam, virus, etc.) with easy to identify contents, try the Smart Kill utility. It can make the job of cleaning up a mess a little less work for you. Otherwise, you will need to remove the problem email manually.
  4. Server Tuning. Fine tune your mail server settings. This is very easy in the web manager.
    • Inbound. Focus first on the receiving side by lowering the Maximum Receive: setting to limit the inbound mail for a while. This is only a temporary thing, so don't worry. If is very important to note that this limit only applies to the SMTP port (25) and does not limit any of your users connecting to the alternate SMTP port (587). If you do not have all of your users connecting to the alternate SMTP port, now is a very good time to have them to make the move.
    • Outbound. Increase (raise) the Mail resent every: value to something higher than you think you need. This may sound a little strange at first, but the IPAD-OS retries all waiting mail at even intervals over the whole time you choose here. Making that time too short means dumping larger quantities of mail on your mail server and that can make everything slower. What you want is to let the IPAD-OS deliver all of the mail it can before the next batch of mail goes into the outbound queue.
  5. Clean. Run OptiMail only after you are sure most of problem mail is no longer on your server. This is especially useful if you manually delete a large quantity of mail directly from the mail server. The OptiMail tool restores your mail processing directories to their best performance. The IPAD-OS version 5 and newer normally does this performance cleaning by itself, but it takes time and may not completely optimize the root mail processing directories.
First published 2008-02-19. The last major review or update of this information was on 2009-05-20. Your feedback using the form below helps us correct errors and omissions on this page.