BARIS is being a test case for a new sednmail milter: milter-sender.
The new filter performs a reverse check on the sending address’s primary mail server to verify that the sending address is legitimate and that the domain is willing to accept return mail. No actual return mail is sent, however if the tests fail then the incoming message is rejected. Other sanity checks are also performed. The primary result of this filter ought to be a decrease in the amount of spam coming from fake addresses, primarily at large domains such as Hotmail and Yahoo!. While most of this could be done in MIMEDefang, having a separate milter with this as its single function decreases complexity of the individual pieces. If testing procedes favorably on BARIS, we should be able to install this filter on KE as well.
Update: This milter does actually send a return message, contrary to the implications on the author’s web site (it is never stated that it doesn’t send this message, it is just somewhat implied). It also is not stable on BARIS, dying after a few days and unable to restart. For these reasons we won’t be using this milter.
MIR is no longer acting as a mail exchanger for earlham.edu e-mail.
After bringing up BARIS as a mail exchanger with MIMEDefang and other sendmail filtering capabilities, we have disabled this capability on MIR. MIR has never been able to properly use the milter features of sendmail to allow us to use MIMEDefang or other filters for decreasing spam. This is due primarily to the difficulty of building a good RPM package for a milter-enabled sendmail on MIR. Since BARIS is the same architecture and operating system and KE, building the appropriate sendmail package has been quite easy.
The two 36 GB disks from ROJ that were being used for AMANDA backups are now on EYEWI and being used as a disk storage unit for system information in NetBackup.
The /data partition on EYEWI is a disk storage unit that is used for backing up the system information on the servers. Previously it was a 21 GB mirror using slice 7 of the two primary system disks. It is now a RAID 5 device using slice 7 of all four disks in the system, making it a 63 GB volume. The two new disks have the same partitioning as the two current disks, giving us about 20 GB of other storage for scratch use, if necessary.
We have installed and are currently testing a new storage server, RAHU.
RAHU (Estonian) is a new SunFire V240 with an attached Apple Xserve RAID storage system. The Xserve RAID gives us a total of 2 terabytes of usable storage. By attaching it to a Sun server, we are able to use standard Solaris tools for operating system management and the VERITAS volume manager and filesystem for storage management.
We will be migrating user accounts from PAX to RAHU over the remainder of the semester. Prior to summer, we will be notifying people with high disk usage of their usage and our plans to enable quotas. Over the summer we will turn on quotas.
The VERITAS products will give us an extremely high performance filesystem and the ability to easily create point-in-time snapshots for backup purposes. We will be creating snapshots on a nightly basis for quick restores and backing up these snapshots on a weekly basis. Snapshots will have a maximum lifetime of two weeks. It is unclear at this point whether we will make these snapshots directly available to users to perform their own file restores, and if so, how we woudl do that.