UPDATE: With the recent Mailgun.com acquisition, Rackspace supports and fully recommends that customers sign up for a Mailgun email relay services account. For more information, please visit the Mailgun Blog.
There are several reasons why you might want to set up email on a Cloud Server, like keeping customers informed or receiving emails from a server monitor. Let's look at some common email needs and their recommended solutions.
Solution: Rackspace suggests that mass-email campaigns utilize professional services such as the examples listed below. These services are able to help get your message to the maximum number of Inboxes while maintaining a good reputation for your domain and maintaining compliance with the Rackspace Acceptable Use Policy (http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/legal/aup/).
Solution: It's important that your messages reach the intended recipients' Inbox; dedicated mail services help make that a reality. Relaying your site's email content through a dedicated provider like the ones listed below allows for the use of your domain name space while relying on the good reputation of your chosen service. Email is generated locally so the functionality of your web site/code is maintained while relieving you of the burden of reputation maintenance.
Solution: Sending notification of job completion or other server events to your Inbox can be accomplished with a simple server-based configuration. This solution is ideal for non-customer facing messages that are delivered to you on a best-effort basis and delivery assurance isn't a top priority.
Solution: As with any other Windows or Linux implementation, it is possible to host a complete email solution from your Cloud Server. This approach can cover needs like sending only out-bound mail, simple single mailbox hosting or creating a full-blown POP/IMAP/webmail environment that is accessed by multiple users. Each implementation will vary based on feature set, OS and number of users accessing the system.
You will be required to manage all facets of the functionality of the email server, including configuration, whitelisting, removal of blacklists and other reputation-based issues.
*Rackspace Managed Cloud Service Level supported
**For further Mailgun.com resources, visit Mailgun FAQ.
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