Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1996)

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Subject: Re: list performance metrics
From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 21:15:19 +0100
To: Dave Crocker <dcrocker @ imc . org>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Message of Sun, 1 Dec 1996 11:02:17 -0800 (PST) from Dave Crocker <dcrocker @ imc . org>

On Sun, 1  Dec 1996 11:02:17 -0800 (PST)  Dave Crocker <dcrocker @
 imc .

>ps. I doubt that vanilla sendmail  can get even artificial high numbers,
>due to  its tendency to  do single message  per connection and  even per
>process, though  perhaps the recent  round of enhancements  has improved

Just put, say, 1000 RCPT TO: fields in your message, all to the same host
on the  same ethernet. Run  100 concurrently on a  PC with enough  RAM to
avoid paging.  That's 100,000 deliveries, now  you just have to  get them
out the door in  20 minutes and you'll have your  300k/hour. All you need
to do is assemble enough receiver machines so that your sending PC can be
kept 100% CPU busy  (it has no paging and virtually no  I/O to do). Hint:
using sendmail as a receiver is not  necessarily a good idea! I don't see
any reason why you shouldn't be able  to reach 100/sec or more. I've seen
a single  LSMTP host input recipients  at the rate of  1000/sec sustained
from  a  machine  on  the  same ethernet  (while  running  1500  outbound
connections at  the same time, all  that on a processor  which is totally
unimpressive nowadays). This isn't sendmail  of course, but where raw CPU
cycles for protocol processing are concerned 100/sec is actually not that
much. It really means 100 RCPT  TO:/250 OK sequences, and this isn't much
at all.

Actually, I seem  to remember that CyberPromo touted  250k/hour, and they
are using sendmail. CyberPromo isn't the  kind of company that would make
up these numbers, they knew from day one that they were going to be suing
AOL and other big names, being featured on major newspapers and all that.
The last  thing you want  to do in that  case is discredit  yourself with
figures you've just  made up (as opposed to basement  spam companies that
sell  you "advanced  turbocharged"  mailers for  $300  and make  whatever
performance claims they  feel they have to  make to get your  $300). As a
matter of fact, if your setup is  optimized to spam only AOL accounts, it
is  even possible  that  you might  be  able to  reach  these rates  with


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