Open Letter to Rep. Webb on HB60

I just sent this email to Rep. Webb. I’ll be updating this post with any replies or conversation that continues as a result.


Subject: HP60 questions

Hello Representative Webb,

I'd like to better understand how HB60 benefits citizens and businesses in Utah. It seems like it hinders competition between ISPs which means higher prices for Internet access.

For example, let's say people or businesses in an area (business park, new house development, or existing neighborhood) want to foot the bill to have fiber installed and allow those people or businesses in that area to connect using an ISP of their choosing. Allowing this extra competition between ISPs means lower Internet costs for those people or businesses in this scenario.
It appears that this bill prevents such a thing from happening with no real benefit to the people.

I figure I must be missing something, will you please help me to understand why HB60 is a good thing?

I'm anxiously awaiting your reply.

Thanks,
Michael

President
Millcreek Systems, Inc.

Amazon AWS reduces prices again!

Amazon has reduced their AWS prices again. Hourly instances have been reduced by anywhere from 2% to 30% depending on the instance type and location. Outbound bandwidth prices have been reduced anywhere from 26% to 83% depending on the location you’re using.
You can see read their announcement for all of the details.

Amazon Lowers S3 pricing

It seems like Amazon is always giving you more bang for your buck.  Today, they reduced S3 pricing.  Here is how they’re changing effective Feb. 1:

                          Old         New
First 1TB           $0.140    $0.125
Next 49TB         $0.125    $0.110
Next 450TB       $0.110    $0.095
Next 500TB       $0.095    $0.090
Next 4000TB     $0.080    $0.080 (no change)
Over 5000TB     $0.055    $0.055 (no change)

Here is where you can get full Amazon S3 price details for all regions.

 

Amazon AWS announces Support for DynamoDB

I logged into one of my AWS accounts this morning and what did I see?  A brand new feature staring at me!

As it says, DynamoDB is a “Fast, Predictable, Highly-Scalable NoSQL Data Store”  Which really means a highly available key-value store.  Amazon has been using DynamoDB for the underlying storage technology for core parts of amazon.com for years.

Here’s Amazon’s page on DynamoDB.

You can read more technical details about DynamoDB here – http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/2007/10/amazons_dynamo.html

How to configure your Postfix server to relay email through Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)

Amazon recently announced SMTP Support for the Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) which is very cool. Now you can configure your server to send email through it regardless of what platform your site is built in (my previous post was only relevant to PHP servers)  There are 3 main things you need to do to configure your Postfix server to relay email through SES: Verify a sender email address, create an IAM user for SMTP and configure your server to use SES.

Verify a sender email address

  1. In the SES section of the AWS Management Console, click on “Verified Senders”:
  2. Then click on the “Verify a New Sender” button:
  3. Enter the Sender’s Email Address and click “Submit”:
  4. Then you’ll see the confirmation message:
  5. Go to that email account and click on the link Amazon will email to you to confirm the address.

Create IAM Credentials

  1. In the SES section of the AWS Management Console, click on “SMTP Settings”:
  2. Click on the button “Create My SMTP Credentials”:
  3. Choose a User Name and click “Create”:
  4. Save the SMTP Username and SMTP Password that are displayed . We’ll need them when we’re configuring the server.

Configure the server

Now for the fun part. Here I assume you’re running Postfix as the MTA on your server.

  1. Install stunnel:
    apt-get install stunnel
  2. Add these lines to /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf and make sure it starts properly (you may have to edit /etc/default/stunnel so that it starts automatically on boot):
    [smtp-tls-wrapper]
    accept = 127.0.0.1:1125
    client = yes
    connect = email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com:465
  3. Add this line to /etc/postfix/sender_dependent_relayhost:
    somesender@millcreeksys.com  127.0.0.1:1125
  4. Generate the hashfile with this command:
    postmap /etc/postfix/sender_dependent_relayhost
  5. Add this line to /etc/postfix/password:
    127.0.0.1:1125 <your SMTP Username>:<your SMTP Password>
  6. Fix the permissions on /etc/postfix/password
    chown root:root /etc/postfix/password
    chmod 600 /etc/postfix/password
  7. Generate the hashfile with this command:
    postmap /etc/postfix/password
  8. Add these lines to /etc/postfix/main.cf:
    sender_dependent_relayhost_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sender_dependent_relayhost
    smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
    smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/password
    smtp_sasl_security_options =
  9. Load the new configuration with this command:
    postfix reload

Additional Notes

After setting it up, look closely at the mail logs on your server to verify that they are being delivered properly.  As I found through testing, in certain misconfigurations your email will not be delivered and will not remain in the queue on the server.  The mail logs are the only place that will indicate that delivery is failing.

If you need to add other senders in the future, edit /etc/postfix/sender_dependent_relayhost accordingly then run:
postmap /etc/postfix/sender_dependent_relayhost
postfix reload

The reason for using sender_dependent_relayhost is because you want to specify what email gets sent through SES. If you try to send all email from the server through SES, you’ll probably have some end up going into a black hole. When I was testing this previous to using sender_dependent_relayhost, I didn’t have my root@ email address verified and so emails ended up bouncing back, then bouncing into oblivion never to be seen again (because it would try to relay email to root@ through SES too.)

http://www.millcreeksys.com/how-to-configure-your-postfix-server-to-relay-email-through-amazon-simple-email-service-ses/