I'm generally sick of managing my own e-mail server, but there are some applications I'm working on that will be needing to communicate with 3rd party users over e-mail. For things such as registration confirmation, alerts, and account recovery.

I've been impressed with Gmail for personal use, and trust in Google's ability to handle arbitrary volume of requests, but is this scenario suggested?

The only requirements that I know of aside from using a business account, is that the applications will need to talk to their SMTP directly and over TLS/SSL.

If you have decent alternative mail hosting providers you like that are as reliable and reasonably priced, feel free to suggest them.


The only issue I'd see with using Google's outbound SMTP service is that it's limited to 500 emails/day. I'm not sure what volume of email you anticipate sending, but that may be an issue.

One thing to think about, though, is that it's really quite easy to set up your own sending-only MTA. The painful part of roll-your-own email hosting usually is managing all of the user accounts, IMAP servers, etc. Things get pretty simple when all you need to do is send out from the server. In fact, if you're using a Debian-based distro (I'm assuming you're using linux, which perhaps isn't the case), the postfix deb package has a "wizard" that does 99% of this work for you.

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  • Currently running Ubuntu, so this is certainly an option. This may be my solution for the immediate future. My biggest issues with managing my own e-mail is first the spam, the second is making sure all the random tribal knowledge about holes in SMTP are plugged so the system doesn't get blacklisted. – Scott Markwell Oct 29 '09 at 22:41
  • If you're sending only and don't allow outside networks to talk to your server (block port 25 at the server), then you are unlikely to have a spam problem (unless there's an issue with your application's security that lets outsiders submit spam to you). – Tim Howland Oct 30 '09 at 0:43

If you want something that is Gmail like, but still want to keep your data check out Zimbra: http://zimbra.com

It is an all in one (mail server + mail client) mail solution.

It doesn't have that many bells and whistles in the free version, but you do get that AJAX interface.

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  • You've missed what I'm asking. I'm not concerned with a user interface, but a MTA. – Scott Markwell Oct 29 '09 at 22:42
  • Zimbra does include a MTA. It is an all in one ready to use mail server. – Natalie Adams Nov 22 '09 at 4:56

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