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Amazon SES: first impressions

While I am compiling longer post about CloudSigma, I though that someone might use a piece of impression I have after having acquainted with Amazon SES.

Amazon SES is an email delivery service, if in short. Strange, but it also is one of not so expensive ones. I have compared the prices with well-known alternatives such as SendGrid and found SES quite a competitor.

Interesting thing that almost no one mentions is that SES masks your emails' origin. If you look at the message headers, SES-related 'Received' line is the last, i.e. no information is kept on where email has actually originated from. An example of such headers set:

Delivered-To: konstantin@boyandin.ru
Received: by 10.143.8.13 with SMTP id l13csp145185wfi;
        Tue, 19 Jun 2012 02:21:26 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by 10.224.184.82 with SMTP id cj18mr32594510qab.81.1340097685718;
        Tue, 19 Jun 2012 02:21:25 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <00000138040be27f-3cb4a514-6ceb-4171-a890-baae2b6a2c0c-000000@amazonses.com>
Received: from b232-7.smtp-out.amazonses.com (b232-7.smtp-out.amazonses.com. [199.127.232.7])
        by mx.google.com with ESMTP id fq1si20535363qab.17.2012.06.19.02.21.25;
        Tue, 19 Jun 2012 02:21:25 -0700 (PDT)

I use SES to send all the technical and other messages from my Drupal sites, as a test. So far, everything is working smoothly, but only after I made several patches.

If you are using Drupal and plan to switch to SES (say, using smtp module), you should make sure that

  • site-wide email address (primary site address) belongs to the same domain the site uses (I usually set to webmaster@)
  • contact module is patched to prevent inserting user-generated email into From: address (which is not very wise in any case and may cause multiple spam complaints)
  • smtp module is patched to use site-wide email address as From: address by default (for the same reason)

If the patches above are of interest to someone, I'll publish them (for both Drupal 6 and 7).

Apart from the above CMS ado, SES is a great and quick service. I recommend trying it.

LInk to patches: drupal-smtp-patches.zip (4 kb, I use them fr both Drupal and Pressflow distributions), latest versions of SMTP module supported for 6 and 7.

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