The new PowerMTA Management Console (v1.0r7) (not to be confused with PowerMTA v4.0, which is a separate product) has a rich feature set that enable it to handle and scale to an assortment of monitoring and reporting needs. The PMC’s detailed level of reporting for deliveries and bounces is unmatched within the industry. We have tested data log entries for both deliveries and bounces across hundreds of millions of records. If you are considering an open source alternative, or even a self-built solution, you should take the PMC for a test drive. The PMC has been exceptionally well received within the industry as a great tool for data logging.
Ensuring Adequate Resources for Data Logging
Having adequate resources (hardware) to manage high levels of data logging is extremely important. As with any database driven application, much depends on available resources. It’s also important to remember that database resources are more demanding than resources used by mail servers.
If you are not sure of hardware or disk space requirements, that information is covered in the updated PMC administration guide. However, the basic data cap and auto cleanup are based on how much disk space is detected on the machine at install. The amount of space required for each record depends on the type of record (delivery or bounce) and the amount of data in each record (length of email address, length of DNS diagnostic string, etc…). In the PMC, there are data compression tasks going on in the background, to help maximize conventional disk usage. Despite data compression, however, if you save log files for any extended period of time, say 24 months, we would caution that you may need additional disk space. If you have a normal delivery rate of say 90%, then 10% of your records are bounced records, and bounce records have more data (and so take up more space) than delivery records. With the current implementation of the PMC, if you wanted the same level of detailed reporting that exists today, you would need to address this issue with extra disk space.
Managing Data Storage Concerns
Another issue that concerns PMC users involves managing how and when older data is “cleaned up” or removed from the database. One of the things that we plan to implement is a data rollup feature to take the place of the current cleaning strategy of just deleting records when the data cap has been reached. But data rollup comes at a price as well, because less detailed reporting occurs as the data tends to get older. As a long term solution, senders should utilize the PMC for detailed monitoring and short term reporting, while still storing the account files in your own database for the extended period of time.
The PMC only works with PowerMTA v4.0 or greater. PowerMTA and PMC both recently had release updates, so check your version before contacting support. The latest releases are PowerMTA v4.0r7 and PMC v1.0r7.