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Email hosting solutions/email servers

Discussion in 'Domains, DNS, Email & SSL Certificates' started by JJC84, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. JJC84

    JJC84 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Hello, I have read through the pinned posts, but I am still a little bit confused as to the next step that I should take so here it goes.

    I was recently brought onboard and given a good chunk of a small company who does web design and development for other businesses. I am looking for an affordable paid (or free?) email host where I can set up accounts for each of our clients on their domains. All options are fine with me even spinning up a new server to do it myself is not a problem and actually might just be what I decide upon ultimately since I would have full control via that particular avenue. Just for approximation's sake let's say that I have 10 clients with their own domains and 10 email accounts for each client. Thanks again!
     
  2. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    If cost is a problem, @Matt probably has the best tip for @domain emails if you need to manage alot of web sites. That is fork out for a cpanel/WHM VPS license and only setup @domain emails for every Centmin Mod hosted domains and offload them to cpanel/WHM. That one cpanel/WHM VPS license instance could handle every Centmin Mod server you own hosted domains. That way you can create as many @domain email accounts for every domain you own via cpanel/WHM. If you have many domains and email user accounts, the cost of cpanel/WHM will pay for itself compared to paying for 3rd party @domain hosting with likes of Google Gsuite which charger per user at US$50/yr. Though with Google Gsuite if you don't really need 10 separate accounts with separate inboxes and can make do with 1 inbox/user with domain aliases it can get cheaper so only need 1 user account with alias usernames going to the same account. Which means US$50/yr cost per domain user x 1.

    But if you go self-hosted route, remember that any and all security, uptime/downtime, ip reputation, email delivery, blacklist, spam and virus management is your responsibility to troubleshoot and fix. If they need to move web hosts and servers, you'd also be responsible for migrating all emails and email accounts intact to the new web hosts servers too and need to be moved in a way that maintains email service uptime and operation during the migration. If you have separate clients, then may need a cpanel/WHM VPS for each client unless you want to tell other clients you're moving email servers when one client needs to move.

    Though cpanel/WHM has a robust and solid per account migration utility from one cpanel/WHM server to another so that makes it easier.

    Also depending on uptime requirements, may need to setup a primary and secondary backup mail server so may need 2x cpanel/WHM VPS servers to operate in primary and secondary mail server capacities.

    Ultimately depends on total operate costing for your clients if they choose a paid Google GSuite solution versus self-hosted. If the client can justify 10 users x US$50/yr = US$500/yr, then probably the best approach in my opinion as opposed to your doing it for the client where I hope you are charging at least that much for your time.
     
  3. JJC84

    JJC84 Premium Member Premium Member

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    There is a company Mailgun that has some offices in the space where I'm currently taking a JavaScript course, so I looked at their docs and I think I can set up an SMTP relay server and test out their offering as they will do up to 10,000 emails a month and they cover a lot of those caveats you were speaking about. I have been thinking this over and though my partners want to offer in-house email solutions, and though we do charge a lot, the profits from it or the selling points from providing it seem to be minimal. I sort of want to do it just for fun though.
     
  4. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Learning is good just don't use paying clients as a guinea pig - could backfire big time if you screw up :)
     
  5. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    coincidentally while browsing WHT forums came across a relevant thread of potential issues you need to deal with when self hosting your emails for clients = server IP blacklist removal and monitoring How do you do with outgoing emails from your clients | Web Hosting Talk

    In which one client's spam causes server IP to be blacklisted, that means every client on the server will not be able to send emails effectively until the server IP is removed from the blacklist databases (maybe more than one blacklist database).

    In which case you'd also have to fork out for IP blacklist monitoring services like with Hetrixtools (affiliate link) which has a free plan for 32 monitors but at 24hr frequency with 15 day report history.

    upload_2018-4-18_2-2-56.png
     
  6. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    Sending SPAM via contact forms (SPAM scrapers) or directly via SMTP and authenticated user (customer)?
    This is a fundamental difference.
     
  7. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Pretty sure for that WHT user it's clients sending outbound via smtp configured email clients/apps I suspect
     
  8. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    MailChannels of Spamexperts could be a solution.
     
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  9. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah at an additional cost of at least US$18-25/month for 40k emails per month.
     
  10. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    Yup fighting spam is expensive.
     
  11. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah if you're self hosting a mail server properly - for cpanel/WHM VPS license, mailchannels smtp relay, virus/malware scanning and blacklist monitoring requirements and additional disk, cpu and memory requirements etc, then the cost will be roughly between US$60-100/month if you include a remote backup option or double that if you need a secondary mail backup instance as well. For some folks it makes Google Gsuite at US$50/yr per user a relatively inexpensive option somewhat :)
     
  12. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    Yup running shared hosting servers seems cheap for outsiders but could be quite expensive if you count all licenses together. For example:

    Cloudlinux, cPanel, back-up service, spam-filter, kernel care etc.
    Ok not everything is needed but still....
    That is how it quickly starts.
    Yup is you are alone Go get Gsuite or Office 365.
    Problem for family mail.

    Lots of users, little mail volume.
    An average of 20 mails per week per person.

    Approximately 40 Gsuite users is quickly $2000 a year.
    While with the low volume it should be fine on a Hetzner Cloud E 42 a year.
     
  13. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Well family can always pay for their own email services LOL

    Though in @JJC84's context, it's for paying clients so usually the client is paying for it :)
     
  14. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    Yup can.
    It is always better to lay hands in one. Together you are strong.
    Yup therefore Spamexperts or MailChannels:)
     
  15. JJC84

    JJC84 Premium Member Premium Member

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    I'm not trying to get run out of town! If someone insisted I would give them a big discount or even free for helping me test a solution and completely warn them as to that beforehand. Thankfully I was able to obtain a cPanel shared server with 1TB storage and unlimited accounts and domains to route customer's emails through. So the emails will go through there and the web apps and sites will be hosted on upcloud.
     
  16. JJC84

    JJC84 Premium Member Premium Member

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  17. bassie

    bassie Active Member

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    With a bit of luck your all in one shared hosting provider already does have mail filters. You could contact them and ask there
    approach.
     
  18. hardousse

    hardousse Active Member

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    Did try mxroute,i use them from long time without problem and i use also thet SMTP relay service
     
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  19. robert syputa

    robert syputa Member

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    I have been following this topic because I am interested in setting up a relay server with mass mail offloaded to Amazon SES, Mailgun or another service provider.

    An alternative you might consider is Virtualmin/Webmin. The free GPL version provides the POSTFIX based stack with spamassasin and clamav scanning, postgrey, CSF (installed through a VM script), Letsencrypt, and other features.

    VM board has similar discussions such as this one: Using Postfix mail relay through Mailgun/Sendgrid/etc. [#40078] | Virtualmin
    general info: Postfix Mail Server - Webmin Documentation
    Installing a POSTFIX server with Mailgun replay:
    How to Set Up a Mail Relay with Postfix and Mailgun on Ubuntu 16.04 | DigitalOcean

    My current thinking is to set up a VPS with Centos 7 or Ubuntu and Virtualmin/Webmin. I have set up VM/Webmin several times before. Virtualmin is not great at supporting the latest versions of PHP and LEMP stack (NGINX, MariaDB 10.x, php 7.+) but I don't think that is as important for email hosting. Then use that as an SMTP relay. I would limit users to sending small volume. Then use the remote email services for volume email.

    The advantage is low cost compared to cpanel/WHM which is overkill IMO. Virtualmin pro version is probably not needed for an email server. Scheduled backups can be scheduled and imported to a new server or to reinstall a server. You could also set up multiple email servers as redundant relays, although I haven't tried that.

    The problems I found in using Virtualmin POSTFIX server was related to trying to use the latest versions of NGINX, PHP, MariaDB - problems with mapping of config files etc. You would want to stick with Centos 7 or Ubuntu and not try to upgrade beyond their standard stack. I am considering using Ubuntu 14.04 with Apache and PHP 7.

    Virtualmin/Webmin can be used with Cloudmin to help support a multi-server cloud. However, if your main purpose is to have an email server to offer company/client email boxes while providing mass email through remote email servers, thus taking advantage of their special skills and built-in spam screening, etc., then this may be a worthwhile approach that provides easy setup of users/boxes and control of the server.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  20. JJC84

    JJC84 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Thank you, sir. Your post is very informative and highly appreciated.
     
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