Where High Availability Email is Essential

A recent Ferris bulletin argued the case for high availability email. It noted that "Productivity of less-motivated staff takes a really bad hit, and that translates immediately to real costs".

The point is valid, but there are many situations where high availability email is important, not just for economic reasons. An example is air traffic control. Here, availability and rapid delivery is not just desirable, it is essential. 

Providing this high availability has a cost. There is a need to have operator cover; highly redundant hardware and software systems; special features in the underlying software. There is also a key shift of service provider approach, to being responsible for the whole messaging process, andnot just the message switching/delivery/storage.   

Some more detailed thinking on this is in the Isode white paper "Providing Reliable Message Transport using X.400", at http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/reliable-delivery-x400.html.  (While this paper talks about X.400, most of it also relevant to Internet messaging).

Steve Kille

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