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SMTP service on Amazon EC2 linux instance.

Posted on 2013-10-22
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hi guys,

Our web server in the Amazon EC2 cloud is a linux based one. However, we would like to set up the SMTP service on there for emails to be sent out to clients from it.

My question is, would it be better to set up the Amazon SES service or just set up the SMTP service on the linux instance instead?( I can see there's a limit of 200 emails per 24hrs on Amazon SES, which there will probably be more of later down the line)

thanks for your help
yashy
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Question by:Yashy
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39592721
Where do you see 200 emails per day on ses?  I think you mean 2000 per day.

http://aws.amazon.com/ses/pricing/
f you are an Amazon EC2 user, you can get started with Amazon SES for free. You can send 2,000 messages for free each day when you call Amazon SES from an Amazon EC2 instance directly or through AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Many applications are able to operate entirely within this free tier limit.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39592726
You can also use Mail Chimp's Mandril http://mandrill.com/  There is a free tier but you are best off using your own ip for $30 per month.    I also like http://sendgrid.com/
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by:Yashy
ID: 39592728
So your primary recommendation would be to use SES?
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 1400 total points
ID: 39592761
I have not used SES.  My theory is the less expensive it is, the more spam will probably go through, the harder it will be to get to an inbox.  By spam, I am not talking about male enlargement pills.  I am talking about the spam people send out thinking "everybody wants my email so it is not spam"  I have heard but can't confirm reports of SES having more of tendency for deliverability problems.  I have not had any myself after using sendgrid for about a year.  I am testing out the free tier with mandril right now and so far no issues but I am using a low volume account.

Because of the large free tier with SES it is worth a try.  Note their suggestion for deliverability http://aws.amazon.com/ses/#deliverability 
In addition to the steps that Amazon SES takes, you can also configure your sending to use Easy DKIM, where Amazon SES will DKIM-sign your email on your behalf. This industry-standard method, which is accepted by most ISPs, aligns your email reputation with your domain reputation.
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by:shalomc
shalomc earned 600 total points
ID: 39596178
You will find it every difficult to set up SPF or DKIM with plain SMTP on an EC2 instance.
On the other hand, setting it up with SES is a breeze. The only annoying thing about SES is that it takes a couple of days until they enable you to go to a production mode.

OF course, Mandrill and Sendgrid and Dyn (http://dyn.com/email-delivery-express/ ) all have similar and great products with somewhat different bells and whistles.

All of the email delivery firms try to keep their reputaion up and aggressively monitor complaints and bounce rates, so spammers usually have a hard time working with them.
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by:Yashy
ID: 39598883
Thanks a lot guys. I've begun the process for SES. I'll need to ask some more questions, with a new post:). Much appreciate it.
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