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Important modules in Mail Servers

Important Modules in Mail Servers

A Mail Server (E-mail server) is a server that handles and delivers e-mail over a network, usually over the Internet. A mail server can receive e-mails from client computers and deliver them to other mail servers. A mail server can also deliver e-mails to client computers. A client computer is usually, the computer where you read your e-mails, for example, your computer at your office or home. Also, an advanced mobile phone or Smartphone, with e-mail capabilities, can be regarded as a client computer in these circumstances.

The mail server comprises of these modules

Mail User Agent – MUA: The MUA is a component which interacts with end users directly. Examples of MUA are Thunderbird, MS Outlook, Zimbra Desktop. Web mail interfaces of Gmail and Yahoo! are also MUA

Mail Transfer Agent – MTA: The MTA is responsible for transferring an email from a sending mail server all the way to a recipient mail server. Examples of MTA are SendMail, Exim, and Qmail.

Mail Delivery agent – MDA: Within a destination mail server, the local MTA accepts an incoming email from a remote MTA. The email is then delivered to the user’s mailbox by MDA. The most common are ProcMail and MailDrop The combined action of these three modules along with DNS makes mail communication hassle-free.

SMTP: SMTP is a protocol used for sending e-mail messages between servers.

POP/IMAP: POP and IMAP protocols fetch emails from a recipient server’s mailbox to the recipient MUA. Some common are applications are Courier IMAP/POP and Dovecot.

Mail Exchanger Record (MX): MX record is the DNS entry for the mail servers. This record points to the IP address to which emails should be sent. The emails are directed according to the priority set for the MX record. i.e.; Lowest values would be preferred first.

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