ePOST Serverless Email System

A PEER-TO-PEER Platform for Reliable, Secure Communication

Current Deployment

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 University and The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems ( Rings interoperate using an inter-ring protocol: 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 ePOST ring.

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 organizational ring.

Open Membership Ring

We have in the past run an open membership ePost ring on the PlanetLab 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 As of 2007 this ring is no longer active.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

To install ePOST, interested organizations should follow the instructions below:

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 page.