Making small changes to how we resolve domain names can make improve the Postfix performance and will allow you to squeeze a little more juice out of your hosts.
Removing IPv6 Queries
By default a postfix server works both with IPv6 and IPv4.
This means that if a domain name, lets say gmail, resolves to an IPv6 address, Postfix will try to connect to that address.
Now think of the overhead here. First we run a DNS query for gmail and get an IPv6 address, then we try to connect, fail and switch to IPv4.
Now that is a waste of resources.
So unless you are working with IPv6, disable it (for now).
To do so, edit the main.cf file at:
inet_protocols = all
And change it to:
inet_protocols = ipv4
* All lower-case
Now reload your postfix configuration:
service postfix reload
Local DNS Caching
When it comes to higher volumes of email, the Postfix documentation recommends installing a local DNS server. Running a local server will provide caching and thus allowing faster DNS response.
This is one example of how to install the Bind DNS server with minimum effort and configuration.
- Use your favourite package manager to install the package. Im using yum in this example:
yum install bind
- Set Bind to start on boot:
chkconfig named on 2,3,4
- Edit the file /etc/named.conf
And to the options section add the forwarders configuration:
In this example I used google’s DNS servers (220.127.116.11). You can change it to your current servers.
- Start the Bind service:
service named start
- The last step will be to direct the server’s DNS request to Bind.
Edit the file /etc/resolve.conf
And change the nameserver address to 127.0.0.1
If you have multiple servers, you may want to install a dedicated DNS server. Its better than managing a local server on each one, but it does mean having another box to worry about.
As you can see, these are small changes that can make a lot of difference when sending high volumes of email.
I will try to compile more configuration hacks that improves the Postfix performance so stay tuned.