[thelist] Windows Web Application - Sending Mail

Todd Richards toddr at nnepa.com
Mon Sep 8 12:32:48 CDT 2008

Hello -

We have a custom web application that creates and sends a custom PDF
newsletter.  The application allows a subscriber to build a list of
recipients in which they can opt to have the newsletter sent via an email
attachment, or via an electronic fax (which goes out as an email to a fax
service, which then faxes it).  Every two weeks, the batch is manually
"released".  The application is only available as a service to our
membership, so besides running in a fairly controlled environment, the
number of current subscribers is "down".  So in total, there are less than
10,000 combined fax/email messages sent every two weeks.  

It's written in ASP Classic/MS SQL Server 2000 and running on a Windows 2000
server.  It has an add-on mail server application (Ipswitch's Imail) to
handle sending the newsletters.  Everything is running fine at this point
(knocking on wood).  

The problem that I have is that only on the day of the batches - every two
weeks - does the server get some good use.  The rest of the time, it sits
being barely used but ready just in case one of the subscribers wants to
manage their account.    I compare it to having an old car in the garage
that you only take out a few times per month to blow the cob webs out.  

I have a good web server that can handle the application without any problem
at all.  The question I have is about sending the messages.  We didn't
direct everything through our primary mail server  due to the additional
traffic every two weeks (which was higher when the application was
originally created), and to avoid any chance of our main IP address being
blacklisted (even though everything is legitimate).  If I move the
application to our current web server, I'd rather not install the mail
server application too unless I absolutely had to.  I could potentially
leave the existing server operating the mail server only, and shut it down
except for the few hours per month that it needs to run, but that would be a
hassle too.

I guess my question is - before this becomes any more confusing - IYHO,
would I just be better off installing a mail app on that server for this
application only (and risk the IP of the web server)?  Is the sending of
that volume something that IIS can do - reliably?  Should I take a chance on
my main mail server?  Are there any other suggestions that you might have?

Hopefully the information I have given helps to understand the problem, and
not confuse you more!



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