spam(d) challenging “old iron” to keep up

In the 3+ years since I pontificated about simplistic spam strategies, my methods have changed incrementally but not fundamentally. However, the uptick in undesired mail traffic has made me step back a little from old iron.

The 450MHz Pentium II mail/web/name server had been seeming more sluggish, and the load average was often in the low single digits, not cause for alarm, but not the totally loafing I was used to seeing less than a year ago.

Every time I would investigate, thinking that web traffic might be the problem, especially MySQL for WordPress, I’d find multiple instances of spamd consuming the most processor and memory.

This was anything but rigorous analysis, but surprising/disappointing. After considering moving both mail and web to the 3.0GHz Pentium 4 sitting next to the 450MHz PII, instead I moved only the web service to the 3.0GHz P4, leaving the 450MHz machine to just handle mail. The web traffic, including MySQL, seems to place minimal load on the 3.0GHz processor, but the load average on the 450MHz processor still creeps up, as it fends off spam.

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