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From Kenneth Kalmer <>
Subject Couch as a mail store?
Date Thu, 12 Feb 2009 14:13:45 GMT
Hi everyone

This is my first post, please be gentle as I risk ridicule. I've been
lurking here for several months now, learning from others. Disclaimer, I
have yet do do more with couch than updating and running the tests.

How would couch fair as a backend for a mail delivery system (in concept)?
Considering you need high availability and very fast IO. Documents (email
messages) will be created and deleted very often, some almost

Couch has some great attributes that makes it sound worth exploring further:

* Fast lookup of documents
* Awesome replication for business continuity (especially in a low-latency
environment like GIG-E)
* Scales horizontally
* Ability to pull entire mailbox for user as one result, or at least bundle
X emails together in one response

I can't recall seeing any thread on here in recent history discussing high
document deletion rates, which is effectively the case when people pop their

Normal filesystem-based storage of mail has other issues:

* Messages often smaller than ethernet jumbo frames, so limited throughput
(couch can overcome this by bundling messages in a single response)
* Mostly limited by disk IO and clever tricks around solid state drive usage
or stripping excessively fast disks

Lets assume nothing about existing mail stores, except that filesystem ones
don't scale will, and I don't even want to consider the possibility of
raping an RDBMS for this.

Everything is exploratory, the thought just crept into my mind a couple of
days ago and I'd like to bounce the idea around with everyone for fun.

Thanks for all the hard work, and everyones patience with newbies and
attackers alike.


Kenneth Kalmer

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