[GLLUG] Advice about my Freeance work

Tim Woodall t at woodall.me.uk
Sat Oct 26 07:36:47 UTC 2019

On Fri, 25 Oct 2019, John Winters via GLLUG wrote:

> On 25/10/2019 20:25, nickmount91 via GLLUG wrote:> Hi,
> [snip]
>> I can upgrade my email to the professional version and associate it with
>> a domain. Would that be a good start? Then i can spend some time
>> installing an email server, learning about it and then use it for real.
>> Does this sound a good plan? Are there any alternatives?
> Hi Nick,
> If you want to learn stuff then setting up your own domain and email server 
> sounds like a good idea.
> Domain names are really very cheap.  Personally I use Mythic Beasts to 
> register my domains, but there are plenty of similar around.  I would avoid 
> using providers which do hyper-cheap stuff (?1 / year or the like) because 
> they tend to put restrictions on what you can do.  If you use a proper 
> provider then it's totally your domain and you can control every aspect of 
> it.
> For the e-mail server, your main requirement is for a fixed IP address. If 
> you use a decent ISP (hint, hint: Andrews and Arnold) you may already have a 
> fixed IP address.  If not then your best bet might be to use a Virtual 
> Private Server (VPS) from BitFolk or similar.
> Don't forget to set up DKIM and SPF on your mail server.  Without that, your 
> outgoing e-mails are more liable to be categorized as spam.  If you have IPv6 
> connectivity then make sure you set it up for your IPv6 address(es) as well. 
> I recently found my configuration was lacking even though it had been fine 
> when I set it up.  Whilst other mail servers were IPv4 only all was well, but 
> as they moved to IPv6 they started seeing my mail as originating from my IPv6 
> address and thus not covered by my SPF configuration.
> Test by sending an e-mail to check-auth at verifier.port25.com
> A good project and it will teach you a lot, besides giving you a more 
> professional looking e-mail address.

I'll second what John says.

If you're self hosting email and using it for clients to contact you
then you want a backup solution. The last thing your clients should see
is emails failing because your adsl/server is down.

You also want to consider whether your backup MX will queue or receive
mail. You will also discover spammers love going to backup MX first.
If/when you solve this for yourself it's then a solution you can offer
to your clients too.

Another vote for AAISP. As well as static ip, they support reverse dns
which is almost essential if you want to send mail. They give a full /48
for ipv6. While knowing ipv6 probably won't win you any clients now,
maybe in 5-10 years being able to step in and solve a problem that the
ipv4 only people don't understand might be important.

Other things for SME that you can experiment with at home at reasonable
cost: multiple adsl lines, load balancing, failover/redundancy. Which
will then get you involved with policy/source based routing too. Again,
learn it for both ipv4 and ipv6.

AAISP get all this right too. I have two lines from them and it all
works so seamlessly that when one line had a problem I didn't notice
straight away because everything "just worked". Which brings me to the
final thought re clients - your tooling and monitoring. It's a difficult
problem - you don't want to be bothered with 'everything is ok' messages
but you need to know that the 'there's a problem' email/text can get to
you. Nothing gives you a better reputation than fixing a problem for a
client before they realise something is wrong.

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