Serverless Email System
A PEER-TO-PEER Platform for Reliable, Secure Communication
The ePOST deployment is composed of multiple overlays or rings
. Each ring is autonomous: The
data of a given ring's users is replicated only within the ring and
communication among its users remains internal. Currently, there is an
organizational ring run at Rice
and The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
Rings interoperate using an inter-ring
: users from one ring are able to send messages to an other one,
and vice versa. More details about each of the deployments are
available below, as well as instructions on how to create your own
Rice University Ring
The Rice University ring was originally started in January of 2004 as a
testbed for the design and development of ePOST. In 2007 we are continuing to use the Rice ring at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
Use of the Rice ring is restricted to existing users.
Organizations interested in using ePOST are encouraged to form their own
Open Membership Ring
We have in the past run an open membership ePost ring on the
network. As of 2007
this ring is no longer active.
Creating new ePOST rings
While designing ePOST, our primary target for deployment was large
organizations which have numerous users (e.g. a university or
corporation). Each organization is able to run its own, logically
distinct, ePOST ring to support its own users, while global
connectivity between organizational rings is maintained through a
special global ring.
Organizations that run a local ring generally enjoy best performance,
since all users' email is stored locally and all overlay traffic stays
within the local domain. Additionally, such organizations have
control over their own SMTP gateways, and can implement their own
policies for accepting mail. Lastly, organizations with local rings
can tweak the ePOST parameters (such the PAST replication factor and
the Glacier parameters) to their organization's needs.
To run a local organizational ring, ePOST requires
- An appointed administrator who is trusted by the local users and is willing to initially set up
and periodically (once a week) check on the ePOST ring using a graphical monitoring tool.
- At least one (and prefereably multiple) computers set up as SMTP gateway
machines, which will accept incoming email from non-ePOST users on behalf of users in the local ring.
To protect the privacy of such email, these machines need to be set up by the administrator, and the
ePOST software must be able to bind to port 25 (SMTP).
To install ePOST, interested organizations should follow the
- Choose computers that will act as SMTP gateway(s) (typically the local admins's workstation)
- Contact the ePOST team
- The name and email of the local administrator
- The domain name of the local SMTP gateway(s)
- The desired ".epostmail.org" prefix for the ring
- Upon receiving this information, we will add the corresponding
MX records for the local ring, and will provide the parameter files for
the SMTP gateway machine(s).
If you don't require SMTP interoperability, you can also create your own
ring without the help of the ePOST team by following the directions on the
Detailed Instructions for setting up a new ring