If you receive errors when attempting to view this white paper, please install the latest version of
"A perfect fit for Service Providers, the ISP email server
solution offers high-end features such as: clustering support in multi-tier setups, delegated
administration, account classes, all leveraging on the failsafe UltraStorage infrastructure and
Source : Gecad Technologies
E-mail Clustering and Cloud E-mail Services
is also known as :
Clustering Email Servers
Email Clustering Comparison
Email Clustering Domain
Email Clustering System
Email Clustering Algorithm
Clustering Email Campaign
Structural Email Clustering
Email Activity Clustering,
Email Clustering Invention,
Available Clustered Email,
Email Clustering Implemented,
Automatic Email Clustering,
Conduct Email Clustering,
Recommended Email Clustering,
Data Mining Clustering,
Email Clustering and Cloud Email Services
- A look at the concepts governing the present and the future, respectively, of the IT industry
Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about the brand new Cloud Computing paradigm. Supposedly,
through this type of cloud resource, you would get the same performance and user experience levels
as with classic systems. Some companies have moved word and spreadsheet processors online, while
others plan to allow users to play HD quality games on demand, over the Internet — all striving to
move from regular desktop related applications onto the Web.
Cloud computing yields a series of palpable benefits such as a lower TCO for both service
providers and their customers, while also attempting to overcome the main concerns of privacy
and security advocates in the IT industry.
This white paper aims to compare the older, industry-proven technology used in clustering
systems today and the new trend in information technology — cloud computing, and to answer
some of the questions revolving around these topics.
Will the Cloud Replace the Cluster?
This is surely the most obvious question of all when it comes down to analyzing the
future development of the situation. However, it is one of the most interesting as well,
because cloud-type resources are actually served by what is called a decentralized cluster.
Thus, while on a regular cluster you have a central nervous point
(the storage, for the highly available one, or the controller for grids etc.), in a cloud all systems
perform any and all tasks just as good. The cluster is a well structured and divided environment that
relies on role configuration for each node and workload distribution according to technical limitations.
The cloud on the other hand will divide the workload internally according to external requirements and user
preference, rather than technical limitations.
Within a fully developed and featured cloud, the concepts of statefull and stateless process / information no longer
have any impact on how the system reacts. All data is readily accessible to any computer in the setup; moreover, any
computer can serve any request initiated by any client.
This extensive use of "any" is what makes the cloud so wonderful to the industry in the sense
that it offers a lot of freedom and that will most likely re-write most of our preconceived ideas about how
communications take place.
However, node roles may still exist within today's cloud platforms, as with regular clusters
(i.e. front-end, back-end, mailstore, database etc.). This is part of a natural evolution of the cluster,
very much like a transition state. Consequently, the cloud will develop into this magnificent entity later
on, as we learn to deal with the burdens of deploying one along the way. This will essentially be the natural
evolution of the cluster and the only direction that makes sense given the technological status and demand of
How Do the Two Technical Solutions Compare?
This second most likely question is very adequate as well: why would anyone need to
replace a cluster in the first place? Such high-end solutions are expensive and very resilient
on their own, so is there a real need to go any further? To answer this, we'll have to
take a look at some widely used systems to see what's currently missing and what else can
be gained by such a move.
We'll use email systems as an example because each and every company today uses either
an in-house (in-sourced) email server or a hosted paid service run by a third party (outsourced).
There is no other way around email communication services, short of using the FAX system to deliver documents.
Email clusters rely on two or more layers of systems (usually called tiers) that perform tasks within one
of the following categories:
- Statefull tasks — they rely on persistent data that must be saved for each session,
like the contents of an email message.
- Stateless tasks — they rely on temporary information that is
relevant to one individual session only, such as the authentication state of a connection.
As stated before, such categories do not apply when deploying a cloud setup, as all systems
are able to perform both statefull and stateless tasks. This fact results in significant advantages
such as the full balancing capability between the systems. This specific capability is also inherited
from the cluster technology by the AXIGEN Mail Server and several of its market competitors. However,
all products are limited — as far as regular clusters are concerned, because load balancing is
not possible in the case of statefull transactions; using a cloud makes this possible and solves
some of the most important puzzles related to email clusters today.
Lastly, one of the differentiating factors between clustered and cloud systems today is represented
by the availability and integrity of data. These two very different (up to now) attributes are brought
together by cloud computing in a single concept of information decentralization. Data (e.g. email messages)
is no longer stored in a single location by one computer or a central storage point. Every bit of
information is cached, stored and retrieved from its initial storage location by any node of the
cloud, as per the requirements of the client or user requesting access to the data in question.
This enables on-the-fly backup and restore operations to take place without any impact on cloud performance,
including long distance replication of data, thus covering and improving the technology known today as
geo-clustering. This level of performance and reliability cannot be achieved by any current email
solution deployment environment.
So…What's Next for Email Systems?
This is the final and most intriguing question of all. Given the way things have turned up
for the cloud until this very day, it's hard to say exactly how the story will unfold, especially
if we add email to the equation.
For the time being, cloud adoption has increased during the past two years and it is very
likely this trend will continue and become increasingly popular as time goes by. However, cloud
technology is still quite a few years away from becoming the main-stream approach to deploying an
Internet email service. With AXIGEN Mail Server being cluster, cross-platform, cross-architecture
and SaaS ready, the move towards cloud computing represents the next logical step in the future of this technology.
About the Author:
Ciprian Negrila is a member of the Professional Services team at Gecad Technologies, vendor
of the AXIGEN Mail Server. As part of this department, he is a full time Consultant and Solution
Architect for ongoing integration projects; he is also the author and co-author of numerous articles
and white-papers on clustering and email technology.
AXIGEN Copyright © 2009 Gecad Technologies S.A. [AXIGEN]. All rights reserved.
This material or parts of the information contained herein cannot be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the prior written permission of AXIGEN. The product and the documentation that comes with the product
are protected by AXIGEN copyright. AXIGEN reserves the right to revise and modify its products and documentation according
to its own necessities, as well as this document content. This material describes a status, as it was in the moment this
material was written and may not correctly describe the latest developments. For this reason, we recommend you to
periodically check our website, www.axigen.com
AXIGEN cannot be held responsible for any special, collateral or accidental damages, related in
any way to the use of this document. AXIGEN does not guarantee either implicitly or explicitly the
suitability of this material for your specific needs. This material is provided on an 'as-is' basis.