My email storage requirements are outgrowing anything reasonable with respect to local mail storage. As we speak 99% of my home partition is filled with personal mail in Thunderbirds mail dirs. Needless to say, this is just painful, badly searchable and as history has proven me that backups work, but Thunderbird is capable of loosing a lot of mail very easily.
Currently I have an remote IMAPS server (Dovecot) running for my daily mail, accessible from anywhere, which from my own practice works efficiently up to about 1000 emails. Then some archive directories should be used to move mail around.
I have been looking into DBMail, but I wonder if I make my case worse or better which such solution. None of the supported database employ string deduplication or string compression out of the box, so is this going to help me with 20GB+ mail? What about falling back to a plain old IMAP server? A filesystem like ZFS would support stuff like GZIP transparently, which could help.
Could someone share their thoughts? The 20GB mostly consists of mailinglists, and normal mail. Not things like attachments.
To add some clarifications;
As we speak, my mail is not server side indexed at all - only my new mail arrives at a remote IMAP server. It is all local storage from former POP3 accounts, local mirrored Gmail and IMAP accounts. In my perspective it is not Thunderbird that sucks, its fileformat that sucks.
Regarding the 1000 mails. On the road I am using Alpine and MobileMail, quite happy with both of them, but some management is required to actually manage the mail. Sieve helps a lot with that, but browing through 10.000 e-mails is not fun, especially not on a mobile client.
I am quite happy with Dovecot, never had any issues with it. I just wonder if this is the way to go. Or if there are any other better solutions.
What my question is: what is the best practice solution that allows 20GB+ mails and is -on demand remotely accessible, easy to backup and archive worthy. It doesn't need to be available 24x7.
The final approach I took was installing a local IMAP server (Dovecot), configured it for being my archive, using the following guide: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dovecot/InstallThunderbird