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Author Topic: SMTP server and notifications  (Read 11726 times)

Offline nanckekr

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SMTP server and notifications
« on: March 14, 2009, 03:50:43 pm »
I have been playing with Vera's notification engine. It seems to me, that SMS's arrive almost instantly, where emails are delayed 15-20 minutes. Sometimes even more.

For many use cases, that is not sufficient.

Obviously I am suspecting my email provider, so I tested by having my IP camera sending me notifications directly as well, using the SMTP server offered by my ISP. In that setup I am receiving my emails within less than a minute. My email provider is google, and not the ISP, so this is not a local routing issue.

My conclusion on this is, that the SMTP server that Vera is using is not the fastes well connected on the planet. That is ok, as long as I would be able to change the SMTP server to something I know is faster.

Anyone out there who have managed to change the SMTP server on vera?

Offline denix

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 09:13:55 pm »
I have been playing with Vera's notification engine. It seems to me, that SMS's arrive almost instantly, where emails are delayed 15-20 minutes. Sometimes even more.

For me SMS messages usually take few minutes after triggering an event, sometimes up to 10 minutes, and sometimes I never see one at all. Haven't seen any e-mails from Vera at all! Everything is configured properly.
Veras (1, 2, 3, Lite, Plus), lots of different Z-Wave modules, Luup plugins and theater/security integration.

Offline nanckekr

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 09:36:25 pm »
Any delays on SMS's can be entirely up to the carrier you are using and not vera at all.
I am not sure, but I seem to recall that SMS is part of a premium service of Vera? If so it sounds a bit strange, as all US carriers support email--> SMS, so you simply send and email and the carrier convert that to a SMS free of charge.

It is of course not entirely free, as the recipient of the SMS (you) is paying for receiving that text anyway.

In Europe the operators (carriers) do not have that service, as there the charging model is reversed: sending and SMS cost money, while receiving is free.

This may be why Vera is having SMS as part of the premium service, as for European customers, Vera would have to pay to offer it.

Due to the delay in email I am seeing and the fast SMS I experience, I am suspecting that MiCasaVerde is integrated into a carrier API and uses that. It sounds like an expensive way to solve this feature, when email works, at least in USA

Offline denix

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 12:35:44 am »
There are so many variables involved in the whole chain - event triggering, delivering the notification from Vera to MCV servers and then sending the SMS out - of course, blaming carrier is the easiest thing. FYI, sending myself an SMS either by email or from another cellphone normally takes several seconds.

Now, on to Email to SMS gateway services in the US - yes, they are free to send, but they are, however, not for bulk use. Using these free services for sending a lot of SMS messages maybe considered as abuse. Plus, carrier APIs for SMS sending would usually provide nice extras - delivery guarantee and/or confirmation (whether MCV use those I don't know).
Veras (1, 2, 3, Lite, Plus), lots of different Z-Wave modules, Luup plugins and theater/security integration.

Offline nanckekr

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 11:18:51 am »
I was not trying to blame the carrier for delays, merely explaining part of the system and pointing our differences between US/EU.

Your point about using an API for the carrier to avoid being perceived as spam is good. However, if each Vera user is sending through their own SMTP server (or the ISP they use) and to the same phones, then that would be no different from when I am using email --> SMS today from outlook. Thus it will not be seen as spam by the carrier, and it can save Vera team money.

Anyway, what I am really trying to resolve is how to change the SMTP server used, so that we can get email notification to work.

Offline cj

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 01:13:33 pm »
Vera doesn't have an internal smtp server. The notifications are sent to our servers and processed there. We're using google as our smtp server.

Offline nanckekr

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 01:17:08 pm »
I didn't expect Vera to have an internal SMTP server, but I hoped that vera would be using one, i.e. it was configurable for each vera, which SMTP server to use. That way we could speed up the email relaying significantly and get around the 30 minute delay I see on emails send through your servers and google.

Offline cj

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 03:17:02 pm »
You can add this as a feature request on our mantis. And we'll have a look into it, to see how easy it will be to implement.

Offline zmistro

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 03:20:58 pm »
Is it possible to use the mini-send mail feature of openwrt?

Offline Obelisk

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 08:43:33 am »

It is absolutely critical, for a number of reasons including contractual security obligations my firm as with some clients as well as just general reliability/service guarantees, for my clients to be able to use their own specified secure SMTPS email servers for notifications.  I, too, read the below information on the MCV/Vera Wiki which explicitly states that "You can setup Vera to use your own outgoing email service for free" but have been unable to find a config page that permits this.  I will be emailing support in 5 min about this to pursue, b/c I cannot use Vera for the majority of my clients w/o this functionality.

Requirements: ability to configure use of custom/external SMTPS server for Vera notifications, including ability to specify server address, username, password, port (up to 5 digits, such as 10465), and SSL/TLS.


Charlie
Obelisk Consulting


http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Find_Vera_Service_Cost


  Individual services & technical explanation

If you sign up for the unlimited plan you do not need to worry about what is involved with use of the secure service. It's all included, and it's all automatically configured. If you want to use certain services, here is a breakdown for each service individually. Note: The breakdown gets technical since it is assumed a user choosing individual services is tech savvy and wants to know exactly what he's getting and how it works. Don't worry if you don't understand the concepts; Vera is self-configuring anyway.

SMS Texting: US $0.28 / SMS Text, available in 50 SMS packages for $14. There is no time limit, your SMS credits never expire. Note: You can setup Vera to use your own outgoing email service for free. However, since sending text messages to mobile phones requires payment to the cellular providers, we charge a fee for text messages.

Offline nanckekr

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2009, 09:20:53 am »
if you find out how to use your own SMTP server, please post it on this thread. I would like to know as that would in my experience increase reliability of the system.

Offline Obelisk

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 09:25:22 am »
nanckekr-- will post as soon as I get a reply.  Having gone down this road before w/ other HW & SW manufacturers, it is SUPER easy to implement this so any vendor who doesn't do it we simply don't bother to work with (it's too important a feature, so if the vendor isn't willing to implement the tiny snippet of code required, that's a telltale sign to me).

Charlie

Offline micasaverde

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2009, 10:13:39 am »
Charlie,

You have to download/compile/install one of the many email clients available from Linux from openwrt.  Create a bash script that tails/greps the logs for the notifications, and, when a notification is found, send the email.

Admittedly it would be easier if we did this for you and included a web-based fill-in-the-blanks.  It is on our todo, and we're not intentionally delaying.  It's just that all the todo items are prioritized and there are other items (like finishing the native iPhone app), which, literally, thousands of users are waiting for and dealers are really anxious for, so we can't postpone those other tasks to do this one, since only a couple users have ever asked for it, and as you pointed out, it's super easy to set this up yourself anyway if you want it, and other tasks, like the iPhone app, users can't just do on their own.  Particularly since the reason why users asked for their own smtp was over concerns that our smtp server is too slow.  But I don't think that's the case anyway.  Our smtp server is Google.  We signed up for Google's corporate email, and all outgoing email is sent by Google's smtp servers, and when the notification is logged in your FindVera's event notification log, that means we got confirmation from Google the email was sent.

Offline nanckekr

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2009, 10:22:07 am »
I agree that an iPhone app is more important than a tool to use our own SMTP server.

As for performance of MCV's notification I see the large flux in delivery time to be the problem, not the speed as such. When it works, it works well,  but there is random downtime where no notifications are send out for hours. I believe other users have raised this too. It is likely some server side issue on MCV's side rather than google's SMTP servers.

Anyway, in the rank of priorities, I vote for Luup, then iPhone app, then SMTP.

Thanks MCV for the good work UR doing.

Offline Obelisk

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Re: SMTP server and notifications
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2009, 11:19:57 am »
Thanks for the quick reply.  Understood and agreed re: priorities, but in addition to the speed and security issues previously raised, allowing users to utilize their own SMTP servers would also mean they are not forced to maintain a FindVera subscription (and no one likes to have monthly services fees jammed down their throat!).

Do you have an ETA for when SMTP server implementation might be scheduled for?

Thanks for the reply,


Charlie