Launch: IMAP System Upgrade Provides Major Speed Improvements and Real-Time Push Email Support

Filed in by Bill Boebel | July 12, 2006 10:23 am

We have completed our upgrade to Dovecot[1] as our backend IMAP server software. This upgrade provides a significant speed improvement over our old IMAP software (Courier-IMAP[2]), by indexing and caching mail header information. The performance of folders that contain tens of thousands of email messages is amazing compared to its predecessor. With this, plus our 5 GB storage limit, you no longer need to be afraid to fill up your folders.
Dovecot also provides real-time push email support. Try it… log into your IMAP account using Thunderbird or whatever IMAP program you use. Open your Inbox. Now from webmail send yourself an email. In a second or two you will see the new email appear in your IMAP account without having to press the Check Email button. Fast, huh?
You can even take advantage of this push email feature using your Treo. ChatterEmail seems to be the best Treo client for this. It will establish a connection to our IMAP system and then sit in the an idle state waiting for our servers to tell it when there is new mail. It can even watch for new mail several folders at once and alert you the second you have new mail, which makes it very powerful for folks on the go.
For you techies, this is powered by IMAP’s “IDLE” command. While we have always supported the IDLE command, our system did not previously provide real-time notices of new mail. We would poll your folders once every few minutes and then push a notice to you. Now our IMAP system is event driven and doesn’t need to poll for new mail, so the moment a new email arrives we let you know.

Endnotes:
  1. Dovecot: http://www.dovecot.org
  2. Courier-IMAP: http://www.courier-mta.org/imap

Source URL: http://www.rackspace.com/blog/imap_system_upgrade_provides_m/