M-BoxPOP/IMAP Message Store
M-Box is a high performance message store, supporting IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and POP (Post Office Protocol), providing the message storage and access component of an Internet messaging solution.
Email clients deliver messages to M-Switch SMTP, which handles message switching and realted services such as spam filtering. M-Switch in turn delvers new messages into M-Box using Local Message Transfer Protocol (LMTP) where they can be retrieved by email clients using wither POP or IMAP. M-Box gets configuration information, including client authentication from an LDAP directory, such as Isode's M-Vault.
M-Box has an optimized database design and multi-threaded architecture, which gives high performance and allows a very large number of users to be supported on a single server. Multiple M-Box can robustly share a single file store, enabling straightforward service scaling for very large deployments.
Flexible Message Processing using SIEVE
SIEVE is a delivery time scripting language for email processing, enabling users to manage actions such as automatic email filing, and vacation alerts. Personal SIEVE scripts are configured in the directory and can be managed by the Internet Messaging Administrator web application. There is also a "global" sieve script, so that custom processing can be defined for all users.
IMAP/POP Protocol Support
IMAP and POP are both protocols with a large number of optional extensions. M-Box has comprehensive support of these optional extensions, making it ideal for environments supporting a wide mix of email clients. Details of protocol support are listed on the M-Box: Open Standards page.
M-Box provides a fully automated, on-the-fly migration system, capable of migrating both message data and authentication information from an existing POP or IMAP service. The single POP mailbox, or all the user's personal IMAP mailboxes, are migrated dynamically on login, using only standard, secured POP3 or IMAP connections. On completion, the user is automatically provisioned with an account in the directory. In the majority of cases, this allows for a switchover from an existing system entirely transparent to the user, with no pre-population of account data required.
Authentication & Security
Authentication of IMAP and POP users may be performed using SASL, built over Isode's SASL infrastructure. Data confidentiality may be provided either by SASL and/or by TLS. M-Box supports IMAP Access Control, which can be managed by IMAP clients, for example to enable folder sharing.
The configuration management of M-Box is integrated with the directory based configuration of the messaging infrastructure using the MConsole management GUI. M-Box configuration information is held in the (LDAP) directory, which enables client/server management of data and sharing of information between M-Box servers. This includes configuration information for the M-Box server, but the most important information is on users.
The core model is "one user; one account; one directory entry". While this can be managed with Isode’s directory data entry tools, in many deployments account management and user option selection will be integrated with the customer provisioning system, with the directory forming a back end to this.
M-Box specific operational control is provided by the msadm tool, which enables checking of accounts and msstat which provides connection information. Msadm provides scripted creation of accounts, and enables message expiration, so that old message can be removed. M-Box provides logging of key events, and uses Isode events for errors and operational information. M-Box allows for SNMP monitoring of general status and network connection.
Web-based administration is provided by the Internet Messaging Administration (IMA) application, which can be used to create and manage user email accounts, shared folders, user groups as well as edit the message store configuration and examine the directory configuration.