Many of us will never care to get into the details of how an email is transmitted between a sender and a recipient, let alone the thoughts of owning an email server. After all, there are leading companies who have heavily invested in various infrastructures to ensure that we seamlessly send and receive emails.
However, there are many reasons as to why one would want to own an email server. These include privacy concerns, curiosity hence putting the ‘do it yourself spirit’ into action, desire for control on who sends you emails, among a plethora of other motivations.
If you are an entrepreneur looking forward to expanding the scope of your business, you should critically think of owning your email servers for convenience.
Nevertheless, email servers are not only limited to business empires; anyone can hold them! The key guidelines for getting an email server up and running include:
1) Get and configure the right software components required for the email server
To set up an email server, you need to integrate a list of components which include: a Mail Transfer Agent, a Mail Delivery Agent, and an IMAP or POP3 Server. A Mail Transfer Agent is responsible for sending emails from your clients to other clients. It also serves the function of receiving emails from other MTAs.
A Mail Delivery Agent ensures retrieves emails from the MTA and places them in the right mailbox dedicated to a particular user. Different MDAs are compatible with different types of mailboxes which determine how emails are stored.
IMAP or POP3 are software used to read emails by the end user. The former is more robust than the latter, as it allows multiple end users to connect to one mailbox.
Configuring these three components is surely a complex process since a lot of coding is involved.
2) Take care of storage
After configuring the software components, you will have to come up with either a local or cloud storage solution for your email servers. The former will require you to invest in hardware storage devices whereas third-party vendors such as Amazon provide the latter.
Either way, to prevent your mail server from running out of storage, you need to set the email sizes that will be supported for transmission and receipt by the software components.
3) Implement security measures
Viruses, malware, and trojans are just a few of the security risks that your end users face while leveraging your email servers.
To curb such security threats, you need to instrument various security measures including antiviruses, spam filters, and end-to-end encryption protocols. These will help ensure that safety of the servers, as well as the devices and data transmitted by the users.
4) Come up with troubleshooting protocols
Finally, just like all other networks, a private mail server is prone to failure. To prevent prolonged downtimes in the event of arising issues, you need to come up with measures that will fast troubleshoot the complex system giving room for quick restoration of services.