Aerogramme was at FOSDEM'24 modern email track

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3 min reading time 481 words

FOSDEM is the European conference for FLOSS developpers. It was the first time Aerogramme was discussed publicly. If you missed the presentation, a recording and the slides are available.



(slide 1) Aerogramme is a multi-region IMAP server, in this talk we will discuss what a "multi-region IMAP server" means and why it's important.

(slide 2) Let's start with some context, my name is Quentin. I have a PhD in distributed system, and this talk will be a lot about PhD distributed system because something I know. I try to work as much as possible for a collective named Deuxfleurs where we try to build a low-tech Internet. If you want to know more about our project, check yesterday talk about Garage. Aerogramme is part of Deuxfleurs' strategy, and a very nice thing, this project is supported by NLnet.

(slide 3) First, the problem we want to solve: we want to make other people available when it would be otherwise impossible (due to geographical distances for example). We can achieve this goal only if the underlying system is working: so we will talk a lot about availability and reliability.

(slide 4) Today's talk is about 3 main ideas: 1) we should not trust the cloud & hosting providers as they can fail. 2) there is some space to explore alternative IMAP server designs and 3) and finally I will try to convince you that such new designs can work in the real life

(slide 5) In the title talk, I speak about "multi-region", and so we must define first what is a "region". On the slide is depicted the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Paris: it's made of 3 datacenters. Last april, the whole region, the 3 datacenters were unavailable for 3 weeks. The outage lasted for 3 weeks for some services, and it was due to a fire in one datacenter. And due to tight connections between the 3 datacenters, the 2 others ones were unusable due to a software problem. 3 weeks without emails, you imagine it can make your life very hard if you need to do some important stuff, like seeking a new job.

(rest of the transcript is missing currently)