The aim and definition of a mail server will be the subject of today’s tutorial. This is a critical server, and it’s likely one of the first you’ll need to consider while planning the future infrastructure. You may find more details about this at ServerMania Dallas Data Center – Dallas Servers
When you read these sentences, you are collecting and transmitting emails without even realising it. In a matter of seconds, the email travels from you to another location on the planet. We take it for granted, without giving any thought about how it works, but it’s a complicated mechanism that requires the use of a mail server.
A mail server is a computerised version of the local mailman (albeit a little faster), however although an email seems to be delivered from one PC to another in the blink of an eye, it simply travels through many mail servers across the globe before reaching its intended recipient. You could just submit emails to the same addresses on matching domains if you didn’t have such servers.
Outgoing mail servers and incoming mail servers are the two kinds of mail servers accessible.
SMTP is the protocol used for outgoing messages (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Incoming mail servers may be POP3 (Post Office Protocol vs. 3) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) (Internet Message Access Protocol). POP3 servers save emails on local hard drives or PCs, while the IMAP protocol saves emails on servers, but that’s the boring part.
Back to our explanation: Anytime you submit an update, whether it’s from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, or some other email provider, the email client links to your domain’s SMTP server. The email client then connects with the SMTP server (remember, this is for outgoing mail), providing the SMTP server with your email address, the recipient’s email address, and the message body, as well as any attachments (s).
The recipient’s email address is processed by the SMTP server. If the domain is local, there is no need for routing; it simply connects to the domain’s POP or IMAP api. If the domains are different, the SMTP server must connect with the server in the other domain.
The SMTP server may come across the DNS server (which is the server responsible for resolving email addresses to IP addresses – we’ll speak about DNS servers in a later nugget). The DNS server can convert the email address into an IP address, which is the DNS server’s native language.
Now that the recipient’s IP address has been determined, the SMTP server will bind to the recipient’s SMTP server. This isn’t handled directly; rather, the message is redirected through a number of other SMTP servers before it meets its intended recipient. It’s not a straightforward journey with such a delicate post, but they usually make it.
Finally, the recipient’s SMTP server receives the file, searches it for the domain and user name (important when filtering spam), and if anything checks out, it forwards it to the POP server to be interpreted. The email is being downloaded as soon as you push the send button. POP usually downloads messages to local hard drives, while the IMAP protocol downloads messages to a computer.
This is essentially the mail server’s secret – Behind the scenes, an easy but extremely difficult job.
Some will inquire “What exactly does this have to do with my company? I’ll either use Gmail or Yahoo to communicate. It’s completely open “.. Yes, it is free, but those that need a lot of room – usually companies – must often invest in servers.
Aside from the servers, you’ll need a way to receive and send emails, as well as a way to set up your own email setup and filter.
You may be using one of two common applications, Postfix or Microsoft Exchange, to accomplish this. Behind-the-scenes processes are supported by certain services.