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postix, cyrus imap and online backup


we're using postfix and cyrus imap on the same machine for internal mail. Mail delivered by smtp to the machine is locally forwarded to the imap server.

Currently all mail is handled by a domain provider. We fetch our (external) mails via POP3 from the provider's server.

We'd like to extend the usage of this mailsystem in a way, that it will
1.) send all external mail,
2.) receive all external mail
3.) do an online backup of all mails that have been transferred.

1.) is easy to solve.
2.) What's the best solution here?
   - we could forward mails from our domain provider to our
     postfix machine. What happens if that machine isn't online
     for a few days? Is there a solution that the mail is
     regularly being fetched (every 5 minutes) from the
     provider's server?
   - what else do you suggest?
3.) The backup can of course be done by syncing the imapd's directory regularly to another machine. Problem is that the backuped data structure is an cyrus specific data stucture that can hardly be used to restore lost mails. We'd like to have a solution that makes it easy to restore lost mails and - if possible - is an online backup solution. That means each mail the is delivered or received will automatically be backuped while it's being handled.

Thanks for any suggestions.
If you have suggestions to use a different software environment for mail delivery, please tell me.

Thanks and greets


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