The Specialized Market for Very High End MTAs

However, some organizations need much higher capacities for their MTAs. Notable in this category are:

  • Email marketing firms, that manage email campaigns for many organizations.
  • Organizations that send out large emailings, that need to be delivered in a short space of time. Eg, CNN breaking news has to be delivered quickly, within say 30 minutes.
  • Some organizations need very fast delivery of information, even at peak times. Eg, dating services may need to send out password information.
  • Businesses with heavy use of transactional emails. Eg I sign up to a website and get an immediate confirmation message. I abandon a shopping cart and get an immediate 10% coupon by email. I request a password reminder and need it sent right now (in seconds). In these cases, it's not that you need to sustain high volume, it's that you want everything to go out instantaneously if possible. This requires a very scalable solution and more bandwidth than normal.

Some niche firms specialize in very high performance MTAs. The leading products are IronPort A60 and Port25 PowerMTA. There are various other up-and-coming players, such as OmniTI and StrongMail.

Vendors pitch various throughput stats, such as 1.5 million messages/hour. Ignoring spikes, no one really does more than 750,000/hour on average, given the need for additional services such as bounce tracking.

Authors:  David Ferris, Josh Baer. With thanks to our friends at OmniTI for the idea.

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