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Article: 811
From: John Hinton
Date: 2006-02-07 12:55:16 -0500
Subject: milter-ahead and backup mailservers

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I've recently purchased the milter-ahead. This is the first milter I've 
worked with.

I'm hoping to get some clarity on what to do as I'm working on a live 
and active system.. hate to break mail.

This is my situation. I'm a hosting provider with many domains on 
several RHEL/Sendmail servers. For the most part, I use one particular 
server as the backup mailserver. I do however have a few vhosts on that 
server and reverse the backup mailserver process back to another hosting 
server for those accounts.

What I'm trying to do is stop dictionary attacks at the first entry 
point. I have setup milter-ahead on one of my hosting servers, but am 
still seeing many of the 'user doesn't exist' emails being forwarded on 
to the backup mailserver. I know I need to setup milter-ahead on the 
backup server but am a bit wary to do this without a better understanding.

It looks as if on the backup server I'll need to make entries in the 
mailertable for the primary mailservers. Really milter-back instead of 
milter-ahead. :)

I have configured on the backup mailserver all the domains for which 
relaying is allowed.. the basics of the backup system. What I'm 
wondering about, is what entries should be made to the mailtable on the 
backup machine. Can I do this with one entry per server or will I need 
to create an entry for each individual hosted domain account? For instance

servername.example.tld               esmtp:[ip_address_of_that_server] 
or [servername.example.tld]

And if that entry looks correct, can I add just one primary 
hosting/mailserver to the mailtable at a time? In other words, if the 
entry doesn't exist, milter-ahead doesn't look, therefore doesn't reject 
the email until other mailserver entries are made.

Thanks for any help and also thanks for this milter as I'm certain I'll 
be able to deal with this nagging issue of bouncing bad mail around and 
about on my systems.

John Hinton

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