Migrating multiple accounts easily – new forwarding tunnel domain

Summary: If you have an account joecitizen@fastmail.fm, you can send email to joecitizen#fastmail.fm@forward.messagingengine.com, and the email will be delivered to joecitizen@fastmail.fm account.

This is very useful if you are using your own domain, and need to migrate from an existing system to FastMail in a staged approach. You can add the domain at FastMail, add the accounts & aliases in that domain, but while the domain is still pointing to the old server, you can setup forwards from the old system to the same names, but hosted at the FastMail server via the forwarding tunnel approach above.

For example, say you have the domain @mywork.com with 100 users already at an existing provider, and you want to setup a FastMail business account and move the existing users to FastMail. You want to move one user at a time starting with the user john@mywork.com.

So you signup a FastMail business account, and add the domain @mywork.com to it and activate the domain by changing the MX record for active.mywork.com to point to us. You then create the user john@mywork.com. Now because the domain @mywork.com still points to the existing server, any email sent to john@mywork.com will go to the existing system. To actually forward it to FastMail, you setup a forward at the existing system so any email arriving for john@mywork.com is forwarded to john#mywork.com@forward.messagingengine.com. Now any email that arrives for john@mywork.com at the existing system will be forwarded to the john@mywork.com account at FastMail.

You can then repeat this process for each existing account, and when all accounts are done, you can switch the MX records for the domain to point to our servers and the transition will be complete and seamless.

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Spam trial results (round 1)

I recently posted about a trial we were doing to test a new spam checking system. I promised those that participated that I’d update this blog with the details once they were in.

Well there’s some good and bad news. The good news is that the trial went well, and thanks to the people that helped out, we were able to gather some great and accurate data. The bad news is that the system we were testing didn’t work as well as we expected in the first round of tests. It was good, but it turns out that our existing SpamAssassin system with our custom rules, address book whitelisting, and personal bayes DB is actually amazingly good.

However there is some work we’d like to try with the new system, so I’m planning on making some changes to the test setup, and will be running a further trial next week. I’ll be emailing all the people that were involved with the previous trial about this, so that they can hopefully help out again. The nice thing is that the things we ask the people helping us out to do (reporting all spam and non-spam accurately), actually helps their spam filtering as well, so it’s a win/win situation for everyone.

More details early next week!

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