North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Localized mail servers, global scope

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Thu Jun 23 09:35:09 2005

> In the case where XREDIRECT cannot be negotiated, the server will just
> have to accept and forward the message itself.
> There's obviously a lot of work involved in deciding the exact
> mechanism. Is looked up via MX, SRV, or something else?
> Can clients cache the name, and for how long, or do they need to
> initiate a new SMTP connection to the MXer for each new message, just
> to be told to redirect? Would extending the MX lookup mechanism with
> SRV records to direct to the correct server in the first place help?
> What about the spam implications?

All good questions that probably need to be discussed on
some email services mailing list rather than NANOG. But
don't be shy, go all the way. We are really saying that
the UUCP style relaying inherent in the current SMTP mail
system is not necessarily a good thing and mail server
operators should not be forced into relaying. But when
you follow this through to giving mail server operators
the ability to redirect SMTP connections, then you are
really saying, "Let's seperate email routing from 
email delivery". Perhaps this is the time to find a new
general solution rather than continuing to tack extensions
on the existing email service?

I don't have the answers but I think the 10 years of
failure to put a dent in spam have shown beyond the
shadow of a doubt that Internet email is broken by
design and bandaids are not going to fix this, no matter
how many different bandaids are applied. It is time
to re-engineer with the benefit of hindsight.

--Michael Dillon