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Guidelines for sizing a new dedicated Qmail relay server

Guidelines for sizing a new dedicated Qmail relay server

Guidelines for sizing a new dedicated Qmail relay server

(OP)
I need guidelines on sizing a server to be dedicated as a qmail relay server. At the risk of looking stupid and asking "how long is a piece of string..." here's my challenge.

Our current environment includes a qmail server running on a hosted server, together with a pile of other applications. External mail is relayed through the service provider's ("SP's") gateway SMTP server, and this is where our domains's MX record currently points. A new requirement to send a daily emailshot to 40,000 recipients in, ideally, 30 minutes means that we will break the SP's limits on email throughput and cannot continue to use his email gateway (which may itself be a qmail server, I'm not sure).

One solution is to rent another cloud server and dedicate it to running our own email gateway instead, thereby bypassing the SP's gateway.  But to get project funding I have to size the brute and I can't see any capacity planning guidelines or experience.  Any ideas, experience in a simiar environment, or suggestions on where to look?  

The smallest cloud server I can get from my SP is 1-core, 1GB 100GBdisk running Plesk.  I can go to 2-core/4GB or 1-core 5GB. The emails themselves show up as about 17KB in my Outlook inbox if that is relevant. (NB I know that there will also be a resource constriction on my current, orignating, server, but that is a big beast and at 6.30am when the mailshot goes out  there is minimal other workload. Further, there's nothing I can do about it!)

Thanks in advance.
 

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