IBP-MIME: Controlled Delivery of Large Mail Files
Wael R. Elwasif,
Micah Beck and
James S. Plank.
Technical Report UT-CS-99-421, University of Tennessee, April, 1999.
Available via anonymous ftp to cs.utk.edu in
The current model of mail delivery over the Internet guarantees that an email
message, when delivered, will have all its parts present at the recipient's
mail server. The message is typically spooled pending retrieval by the
recipient at a later time. This model has serious efficiency problems when
handling messages that contain large files. Such messages impose a heavy burden
on storage resources at the mail server, where they can occupy space for an
indefinite period of time pending retrieval. The situation is made worse when
the message is directed to multiple users who share the same mail server. In
this paper we present a new model for delivery of email messages containing
large files. The proposed model separates the text part of the email message
from the non-text part, and entrusts the latter to a set of network storage
servers that keep it until prompted for delivery by the recipient. The
proposed model makes use of new initiatives in distributed storage that are
part of the Internet2 project. In addition, it allows for recipient initiated
preprocessing of the sent file remotely, before actually receiving it. This
option is becoming more feasible with the advent of computational servers such
as NetSolve and can have wide implications in areas such as electronic
commerce and security.