Community Knowledge Base

Spool (and Waiting to Deliver)

The email spool is a list of emails, in order of when they are created, that are available for the server to send out to other mail servers or to deliver locally. SmarterMail is multithreaded, which means that if a message cannot process out of the spool, SmarterMail simply moves on to the next message until the maximum number of threads that are designated in the administrative configurations are in use. Administrators can use the information here to adjust threads and resources to allocate for concurrent messages.

Messages enter and leave the spool fairly quickly. In fact, some pass through so quickly that they will not display in the spool. Most messages in the spool are displayed because they are large, have many recipients, or are having trouble being sent to their final destination.

The Spool tab displays all inbound and outbound messages, including ones that are attempting to be delivered or waiting to be delivered, will be displayed. To view a filtered display of the spool for only messages that are waiting to be delivered, use the Waiting to Deliver tab.

Important Notes:

  • Messages that are Waiting to Deliver have typically encountered an error on one or more recipients of the message and are waiting for the next retry interval to attempt delivery again. Emails that are stuck on local delivery or waiting to deliver without any retry attempts are typically the result of IO Bottleneck at the CPU or storage array.
  • Spool and Waiting to Deliver tabs will only load a maximum of 50,000 messages combined. (E.g., 20,000 Spool messages are displayed and 30,000 Waiting to Deliver messages are displayed - together they'll never show more than 50,000 messages). That means that if the two numbers add up to 50,000, it's very likely there are MORE than the number of individual emails for each type than can be displayed.

The following details can be seen for each entry in the spool:

  • Filename - The unique name of the EML file on the hard disk of the SmarterMail server.
  • Spool Path - The spool the message resides in. If you have subspools enabled, the message may be placed in one of those locations.
  • Sender - The email address that initially sent the email.
  • Recipients - The number of delivered/total recipients.
  • Size - The total size of the message on the hard drive, in kilobytes.
  • Attempts - The number of delivery attempts that have been made.
  • Time in Spool - The total amount of time the message has been in the spool.
  • Priority - The priority level of the message: low, normal or high.
  • Status - The current status of the message. Messages in the spool have four delivery statuses:
    • Delivery Delay - This is the first status of any message in the spool. Administrators can configure a Delivery Delay within the system's General Settings. This delay represents the number of seconds mail will be held in the spool before it is delivered. A delivery delay is beneficial when you are running a secondary service (such as a virus checker) that needs access to messages prior to delivery, as it provides ample time for the secondary service to interact with the message.
    • Spam Check - At the second stage of an email's delivery process, SmarterMail runs the configured spam checks against the contents of the email. Messages from whitelisted senders will bypass this delivery status.
    • Waiting to Deliver - Emails with a status of Waiting to Deliver have typically encountered an error on one or more recipients of the message and is waiting for the next retry interval to hit. On the next retry interval, the delivery process will start from the top with its configured Delivery Delay.
    • Remote / Local Delivery - This is the final stage of an email's delivery, where the message is sent to its intended recipients. A status of Local Delivery will appear for messages sent between local users on the server and is shown is when SmarterMail is writing to the actual GRP files. Remote Delivery will appear for any outgoing messages that are destined for outside of the mail server.
  • Next Attempt - The date and time of the next delivery attempt, based on the retry intervals configured in General Settings.

To view the contents of a message or its intended recipients, click on the entry's row. The email will load in a popup window. If you are presented with a note that the "Message no longer exists," it's possible that the message was already delivered or removed by antivirus software or that the spool contains an orphaned HDR file without the associated EML.

The following actions can be taken on selected entries using the Actions (⋮) button:

  • Force - Pushes the selected message(s) to the top of the spool by setting its priority to High. Note: The status of forced messages will not update until the server passes through the spool.
  • Reset Retries - Resets the retry counts on the selected message(s) in the spool, effectively starting the delivery process over. This can be useful if a DNS or firewall problem has been recently resolved, or if you are using SmartHosting and the target server was down.
  • Change Priority - Changes the priority level of the selected message(s).
  • Move Messages - Moves the location of the selected message(s) from the general email directory to a new path on the server. Use the default path provided or enter any folder path on the server. Moving the .eml files to their own folder on the server is useful because it allows an administrator to review the messages before taking actions against them.
  • Download EML - Allows you to download the raw EML file for the message.
  • Delete - Removes the selected message(s) from the spool. Note: No confirmation dialog will display, so use caution when deleting from the spool.
  • Delete All from Sender - Deletes all messages in the spool from the specified sender. Caution should be used with this action as the same email address can be used for different types of messages. For example, a "no-reply" address can be used for bulk notifications but may also be used for promotional emails, etc. Deleting all messages from the no-reply sender may, therefore, have unintended consequences.
  • Move All from Sender - Moves all messages in the spool from the specified sender. The same caution should be used as with deleting all messages from sender.

Searching the Spool

Domain administrators can search for messages from particular senders in the spool. To do so, use the Search bar at the top of the content pane. Simply type in the email address of the sender and click the magnifying glass to search for any messages from that sender that are in the spool.