Templates available in Mail Servers category
The templates below incorporate typical protocols to get/send email messages (SMTP/ESMTP, POP3/IMAP4 etc), along with certain security-related variations (using SSL/TLS, using several authentication types). Application templates basics.
The below templates belong to Mail Servers category:
Courier Mail Server, mail transfer agent (MTA) server that provides ESMTP, IMAP, POP3, SMAP, Webmail, and mailing list services with individual components. Courier is developed since 2000 and is one of most popular mail server software for POSIX operating systems.
CourierMS Mail Server on Windows Host, is a compact mail server software for Windows, providing SMTP and POP3 services, allows quickly set up mail exchange services even on single Windows installation.
Dovecot POP3/IMAP Mail Server, an open source email server for Linux/UNIX-like systems, written with security primarily in mind. Known in its two major versions, 1 and 2. Is easily scalable and supports various authentication schemes, as well as fine grain tuning of its features.
Exim4 SMTP Mail Server, mail transfer agent (MTA) used on Unix-like operating systems. Provides internal scripting capabilities to augment its functionality, flexible means to process incoming and outgoing messages and several means to deliver them.
Generic Mail Server is reserved for mail servers, not individually included into this category – with generic set of monitors to watch typical capabilities.
MS Exchange 2007 Mail Server, message exchange platform, designed to integrate with other tools and services, addressing business messaging and documents processing needs; includes limited capabilities SMTP/other popular mail services protocols implementation, as well.
MS Exchange 2010 Mail Server, message exchange platform, designed to integrate with other tools and services, addressing business messaging and documents processing needs; includes limited capabilities SMTP/other popular mail services protocols implementation, as well.
Postfix SMTP Mail Server is the default Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) for Ubuntu; was developed to replace Sendmail, with security in mind.
Sendmail SMTP Mail Server, a general purpose internetwork email routing facility that supports many kinds of mail-transfer and delivery methods, including the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) used for email transport over the Internet. One of the oldest mail transfer agents to date.
Mail Servers monitoring use cases
- default Ubuntu server installations use Postfix SMTP Mail Server, so try that template first if you learn the server type is Ubuntu
- if you monitor mail services provided by WHM/CPanel hosting platform, choose both Exim4 SMTP Mail Server and Dovecot POP3/IMAP Mail Server templates, since the above control panel software utilizes both
- if you have no specific data on target mail server, it is safe to apply Generic Mail Server template; not that you can initiate conversation with mail server using command like telnet mailserver 25, use actual mail server IP address or domain name instead of “mailserver”; the server will print its banner, which can give you information on server type and capabilities
- for Windows-based mailing services you might expect using MS Exchange 2007/2010 Mail Server template to match the expected capabilities; the exact Exchange versions should be queried from system administrator of the target host
- for older Unix-like systems you might expect to apply Courier Mail Server for IMAP/POP3 and Sendmail SMTP Mail Server instead of generic mail server choice; once again, use emulation of SMTP/IMAP communication to find the actual mail server software used
Mail Servers monitoring tips
- do not use, wherever possible, self-signed SSL certificates for mail services; latest updates to popular mail clients and related software can render such a certificate unacceptable, thus breaking mail exchange over secure channel; one of simplest solutions is to create a free SSL certificate at Letsencrypt
- if you are testing outer mail servers, do not use junk and/or non-existing user names/email addresses; you might end up having your monitoring installation banned at the target server
- it is strongly advised to set up email authentication for email address used as From: in your IPHost Email Settings – that includes setting up proper SPF, DKIM/Domain Keys and DMARC authentication; otherwise you have good chance of directing all your monitoring tests/notifications directly to spam folder, or even getting your monitoring system banned at the target server
- if using IPHost in restrictive environment, where no external email servers may be used for delivering email alerts, the safest way is to install CourierMS or hMailServer on the same computer where IPHost is running, use localhost (127.0.0.1) as its mail services addresses and use it to get alerts/read them from the same computer (say, via remote desktop session)
- for historical reasons, default file names for system MTA (mail transfer agent) can contain “sendmail” string (such as /usr/sbin/sendmail); note that the better way to determine MTA type from outside is actually attempt to send email via it and see how mail servers responds (in its welcome message, a.k.a. banner, it usually reports actual type and version); still better way to determine MTA from inside is to check which software pieces are installed, using current system’s default repository