[AusNOG] Straw poll: what is your email message size limit?

Mark Delany g2x at juliet.emu.st
Tue Mar 26 13:06:10 EST 2013

> I've found that email enables poor habits.. Emailing a 10MB doc to the
> user 2 rooms down via a hosted exchange? Floods the link twice, plus
> stores the attachment in your local OST, the recipients local OST, and
> two copies in the exchange store. Now, modify it, and send it back.
> Ouch.

Why ouch? The network is serving the company, not the other way
around. Bits and storage are cheap. People are expensive.

People have moaned about the "mis-use" of email ever since MIME was
invented. They did it again when HTML was sent over email and of
course they routinely complained when the maximum payload went from
2MB to 5MB to 10MB and now 25+MB.

If email is such a terrible medium for getting things done, why have
people persisted in abusing it for the last couple of decades?

The simple answer is that it is pervasively available and works more
consistently and simply than anything else. Skydrives, G-drives,
dropbox, Exchange shares are all a terribly fragmenting
experience. Put another way, our industry has failed to provide a
compelling alternative.

So your best course of action is to make sure their tool of choice
works very well, all the time. The alternative of punishing "poor
habits" to save a little computing infrastructure is a fool's errand.


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