Friday May 17, 2013

Oracle Communications Messaging Server: To Compile or Not to Compile

Compiled Versus Non-Compiled MTA Configurations: Which Strategy Is Best?

Recently, we had a discussion around the pros and cons of using a compiled MTA configuration for Messaging Server. What follows is a summary of this discussion, and also how this relates to the new Unified Configuration.

  • Pros of using a compiled configuration:
    • "The main reason for compiling configuration information is performance."
      In the past, say back in Messaging Server 5 days, this used to be important but with current releases is no longer a factor.
    • "Configuration changes can be tested more conveniently because the configuration files themselves are not 'live' when a compiled configuration is in use."
      This is the main reason now for using a compiled MTA configuration.
  • Cons of using a compiled configuration:
    • Introduces some complexity in management.
    • Non-MTA components do not share the same options with MTA components, so changing a compiled configuration could cause some components to be "live" (non-MTA) before others (MTA). This behavior is independent of the configuration type (legacy or Unified).
    • On non-production systems, compiled configuration is probably not worth the additional overhead.
  • Compiled configuration was the default prior to the Messaging Server 7 Update 4 release. So it is important for new installations (Messaging Server 7 Update 5) to understand whether to use a compiled configuration. Still, it seems likely that most sites would and should use a compiled configuration.
  • The command imsimta cnbuild -remove causes a system to stop using a compiled configuration.
  • To test configuration changes before committing them and going live, use the following command structure:
imsimta test -rewrite -noimage_file you@example.com

You can use the following flags to set the path to the configuration file:

-configuration_file=
-mapping_file=
-option_file=

These enable you to carefully clone then customize the configuration files before testing.

About Unified Configuration

Unified Configuration has the ability to save a history of changes and roll back to previous configurations. (See the msconfig history command). Thus, if an undesired configuration behavior takes place, even though a configuration may have passed its validity checks, you can still return easily to a previous configuration.

  • Does Unified Configuration obsolete a compiled configuration?
    • Not yet.
    • Does not address the more complex issues of MTA configuration change coordination.
    • You still need to coordinate multiple configuration changes and test them thoroughly prior to going live.

Reference

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