Why do E-mail size limits still exist

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by PabloEscobar, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. power

    power Member

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    of course they will, you're right though - it's like talking to a brick.

    instead of emailing that video - upload to youtube and share.

    I hope that simple sharing and "cloud" storage will go toward overcoming the problem of users emailing anything and everything.

    As we currently stand people have gone away from emailing photos and they now share through facebook, etc.

    Stuff like Google Docs and Office 365 now mean you don't have to email that document as well.

    Many draftspeople now use dropbox - a lot. The move away from emailing shit left right and center is declining.
     
  2. shredder

    shredder Member

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    The culture of IT in my company is like that of a retard. I realised some time ago that progress is going to be long and slow.

    "Duh it's not in the project folder on the T drive, therefore to me, it must be off in some magical land only known about by geeks, duh, what do"

    All under the fun umbrella of tech-idiot Directors who feel their directorship (in completely unrelated professional fields) gives them some sort of qualification to be directing the IT of the company in the big picture.

    A lot of you/us techs lose touch with just how tech retarded the general drone worker populace is, especially if you work in a field or profession that has absolutely nothing to do with IT except that it's workers use computer equipment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  3. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    The mime penalty - and the fact that people are absolutely shit at organising stuff (And the mailbox is the absolute worst of all for organisation - absolutely zero uniformity between users) - is probably the only real reasons i can think of.

    Its certainly the most convenient, and provides a timestamped log of when, what and who.

    It doesn't really do versioning, but many systems have automatic archiving now.

    So basically its every bit as good - as long as you take the space penalty - as traditional file storage on individual user profiles/home directories.
     
  4. Remote Man

    Remote Man Member

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    Expect outlook downloads all of them automatically when doing Send/Receive so now our remote office at 9am has to down 10mb X number-of-staff + All other email. Only to find that 40% of those staff just delete the email as they like dogs not cats.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    I'm not sure how this factors into it. SIS was designed around storing a single attachment, even if sent to multiple users on the same system. As evidenced above, MS have moved away from this in 2010, citing "Disk is Cheap" as the reason.

    Colour me educated, I must have been thinking of some other overhead.

    This is enterprise computing. My Mobile device is configured via policy. Feel free to send me whatever you want :).

    How so? If I need to work on the file, I'll still need to transfer it. The data still hits the wire.


    "E-mail isn't for sending data!" makes no sense, E-mail is data.

    E-mail as a file transfer medium may lead to terrible workflow, but that is true of many of the alternatives. If you e-mail me a dropbox link, an I download it, work on it, upload it, and e-mail you a dropbox link. all we have really avoided is the MIME penalty... the same workflow and file versioning issues will still exist.


    I don't think Cloud storage will overcome the problems inherent in the E-mail centric workflow, however online collaboration tools like Docs may well do so.



    My post came about as I was investigating alternatives to file distribution (to internal, and third parties) and I started to think 'How is E-mailing a link functionally different from just e-mailing the file'. Many of the posts here (especialy DavidRa's) provided fuel for thought, But I still think that the opinon "you can't send big files by e-mails" is outated. Sure, There is probably a better method to achieve your goal. but the reasoning behind it is not based on the underlying technologies used.

    Send-Recv Tab -> Download preferences -> Download Headers

    Dog lovers can now delete cat pictures without impacting the link.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  6. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    It should be "Disk is Cheap, IO is not so much". Which is the real reason.

    Alternatively multiple mailbox servers, placed with some geographic sensibility.
     
  7. whitewolfx

    whitewolfx Member

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    No, email is for sending text. Base64 encoding proves this, as described earlier in this thread.

    So, yes, no matter how you get the file you want, it still "hits the wire". Locally. What if we're not talking about your local wire, what if we're talking about the wires attached to X email server? You're now talking about multiple people downloading multiple big files from X email server, over an internet connection. Now you're suddenly talking about multiple people connecting to X email server for a longer periods of time, searching X email server through multiple mailboxes at the same time. Disk IO rises, connection counts rise, interweb bandwidth gets bottlenecked, you suddenly need the imgur level server gear to run a simple email server. Conclusion: email is for text.
     
  8. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Using the running mass-emailed cat pictures analogy.

    If I email said 10MB of fuzzy picures to everyone in the company, say 1000 people.

    I've created 10GB of storage, 14GB of network traffic, some of which may impact low bandwidth/high cost WAN connections.

    Say dog vs cat lovers is 50/50. so 50% of that is complete waste, impacting peoples time, potentially tieing up valuable and constrained WAN comms prevent other work being done.

    Now, say I upload my 10MB of kitty pics to dropbox, or facebook, or my personal web site, and send a link to all 1000 employees in ABCco.

    The email is now <1kB, meaning 1MB of storage, 1MB of network comms (no MIME overhead on a text link email), and the 500 dog lovers need not wait for said large email download only to delete it. the 500 cat lovers can choose to ignore the email (I like persians, stuff tabbys), forward it home for review after work (with minimal storage and network overheads). Everyone cna keep working, cause the WAN links aren't tied up.
     
  9. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Do you work with real users? Because it sounds like you work with fictional best case scenario ones.

    Which is 99.95% of the problem with Email, IT and Users. Email CAN do it, Users see this and don't even need IT to tell them its possible. IT can't really stop it (without pissing off exec users), so despite the fact that it is sub-optimal Users do it - mostly because ALL OF THE SOLUTIONS SUGGESTED BY IT ARE HARDER AND HAVE NO EASILY PERCEIVED BENEFIT OVER JUST HITTING "SEND".
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  10. whitewolfx

    whitewolfx Member

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    Precisely why the 10mb-20mb email limits exist. =) The only thing users have to know is that "This is the limit, anything bigger than this and you'll need to use an alternative method to get X file to person Y". The only thing users will understand from that is that they *can't* do it, therefore they will start looking at alternatives.
     
  11. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Going back to the original question - *why* is 10-20MB the limit?

    It hasn't scaled with anything other than "because IT sez". Mailboxes dwarf those limits (I remember 5MB mailboxes - Now everyone hands out 25-30GB). $/TB prices have plummeted, as with $/IOP, $/RAM, $/CPU. Even connectivity costs have plummeted.

    The files we used to send with email in early 2000's on dialup (~80kb jpegs, or hell 2-3MB bmps) have scaled because of the resolution or content within. The need to transfer them to an individual, quickly, has remained the same.

    "Use Dropbox/GDrive/Box/Goodsync/whatever" isn't really the question being asked here. And quite honestly, all of those options are still fucking shithouse in terms of usability compared to right click "send to recipient".

    MS's SMBoverHTTPS works ok - but isn't really great at "send to zillions of people".
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  12. OP
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    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Just to clarify, you are saying the 10-20Mb limit exists, soley to as a stick to beat users with to drive them to alternatives?

    I was thinking that the 10-20Mb limit exists, because we still have mail server admins from a time when disk was expensive and in short supply, rather the cheap and plentiful
     
  13. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Never said it was real world. Simply highlighting, the difference between what happens, and what happens when it's done right.

    /I'm in network performance, so know first hand what happens 'on the wire' when email (or anything else) goes bad.
     
  14. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    10MB is still a reasonable size limit that covers off the majority of work related files you may want to send, while stopping people sending videos, a dozen hi-res pictures of puss or fido.

    10MB is also still reasonably cost effective on low speed WAN links, and expensive mobile broadband.

    Again, it's a (we're in B&EC) work network, not your personal playground for sending crap around. How many Word docs or Powerpoint preso are more than a 10MB.

    The biggest power point preso I've got is a 10 day training course, and has over 500 slides. it's 24MB.


    Enterprise disk, is hardly cheap and plentiful. You fail to consider, what else goes on with that enterprise disk, backup, archival storage etc. 1TB of enterprise storage, including it's managment, backup etc. is significantly more costly, than heading down to Officeworks and picking up a Seagate USB unit.
     
  15. DavidRa

    DavidRa Member

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    Not just mail admins either - in these days of using 4TB SATA disks for 40 users (100GB mailboxes) for Exchange, and replicating data between servers, we still have SAN admins who insist that RAID sets of 600GB SAS drives are cheaper.

    If someone, somewhere, can honestly prove to me that four 4TB SATA drives in DAS is cheaper over five years than thirty-two 600GB drives in a SAN (all costs considered), I will quit IT and take up flower arranging.

    (The SAN admins in some companies are other drivers towards limits - when your SAN limits permit only 150MB mailboxes, how are you going to receive a 200MB attachment, let alone multiple GB-sized ones?)
     
  16. power

    power Member

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    limits aren't there to "beat users" - users need to learn the tools that they have and use them appropriately - unfortunately many users are simple.

    Hell some people (managers) won't email requests requiring updated access to important sensitive company data, they would sooner ring them through on the phone, the phone is not for making requests like that - email is, same sort of idea.

    Email is for email, not for file storage. Just because you are a simpleton doesn't mean the system is at fault.
     
  17. OP
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    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Enterprise disk is cheap and plentiful, compared to what it was in 1990, when a 10Mb limit made sense. Even when you include all of the associated products (which would still have been required in 1990, and again, came at a price premium).

    So we have a 10Mb limit put in place when disk was $1000/Gb, now it is at $1/Gb but the limit has not changed, even though I cannot see a single technical reason for it to still be in place.

    As we are in B&EC, We are looking at Businesses, e-mailing other Businesses, both of which should have fast links, or WAN acceleration for slow ones.

    Our comprehensive user documentation comes in at ~30MB/document, They contain a great deal of screenshots. CatPics.zip is just being used as a placeholder for whatever users need to send.

    10Mb is obviously not "Enough", or we wouldn't have 3 pages of discussion about why we shouldn't be doing it and alternatives wouldn't be flourishing.
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    you crack me up.
     
  19. OP
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    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    I'd argue that E-mail is not a good use case for that at all. It should run through some sort of ticketing/workflow system (which may be raised via E-mail) which verifies that the requesting user is who he says he is (e-mail does not).

    But like you said, its all about the right tools for the job. But in the case of E-mailing files, the job has not been defined very well at all.


    If we want to play with ideal user scenarios, then I want to play with ideal business scenarios :).
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    In small/medium business ticketing is overkill, email is a perfectly legitimate way to request things.

    businesses do not only mail other large businesses.

    mail limits exists for good reasons, all of which have already been outlined in this thread.
     

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