Email and Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law discusses the exponential growth of electronic circuits. Perhaps email is another case where Moore’s Law applies.

Consider email quantity. Where once we sent and received only a handful of emails daily, today we routinely send and receive hundreds of emails. You might argue that the volumes are increasing exponentially. Then again, you might argue that for many people, the volume is more or less stable, or increasing linearly.

Email attachments are a better example. Initially email attachments were nonexistent or quite small (<10KB). Now attachments are very common and can easily be 1-10MB in size. What will it be like when we are sending rich media files that are hundreds of megabytes (or gigabytes) in size?

Finally, consider mailbox size. A 10MB mailbox was once the norm and was replaced with 100-200MB mailboxes in recent years. Today users expect multigigabyte mailboxes, made famous by Google’s Gmail.

Such growth in email directly impacts email server performance and capacity. Consider the latest version of Microsoft Exchange 2007. Today Exchange can easily support 1GB mailboxes and 10MB attachments. How will it support 10GB mailboxes and 100MB attachments in the future?

Bob Spurzem

One Comment

  1. Gordon
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    In our environment, 10GB and 100MB attachments are already being supported. We have multiple users with 10GB boxes, along with a few 100MB attachments. We commonly see 30-40MB PDF files being tossed around.

    Throw enough hardware at it and you can support it.

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