The sysadmin's version of declaring inbox bankruptcy: something hoarked and caused mail to be undeliverable, then Something Mysterious Happened (the box rebooted, I suspect that was the "fix") and it starts being delivered, along with a couple weeks' worth of undeliverable messages, which then start getting throttled and queued up so you rm /var/spool/mqueue/* and start again.


@georgieboy We switched to a new monitoring & alerting system recently, then had a power failure where the DNS servers didn't come back. Our monitoring is done entirely by host names, and 'I cannot resolve this hostname' definitely causes probe failures.

There was oh so much email (when we got DNS working again). I was kind of impressed how fast our mail server could get through them.

(Now we have a special 'there is a large scale problem, I am shutting everything else up' alert.)

@cks Yeah, when I was in CS, the switch to which our Nagios server was connected was off for a weekend. Also, I'd never throttled alerts so they fired at every check, so roughly every 5-10 minutes per service, times about 200 services at the time. That did take long enough I had to rm mqueue/* as well; come to think of it, that might have been the last time I did.

@georgieboy @cks Did you end up having to rm and recreate the mqueue directory for performance or do I just have special levels of past-me errors?

@thatdawnperson @cks hah, no, it was only several thousand, nothing zfs can’t handle.

@georgieboy @thatdawnperson That modern filesystems no longer explode that way is one of the things that I am pretty happy about. It removes a whole area of mysterious performance problems.

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