Playing With Wire » YippieMove The Internet Startup Blog Wed, 20 Jul 2011 18:45:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 No more default prefix in YippieMove Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:33:40 +0000 Let me start by saying how much we appreciate the feedback from you guys. Your feedback is an important element in the way we drive the development of YippieMove.

No more default prefix in YippieMoveThanks to you guys’ feedback, we’ve now decided to remove the default prefix in ‘Step 3′. That is, in the past, when you’ve made a transfer with YippieMove from, let’s say, Yahoo Mail, all the transferred folders would by default end up under a sub-folder on the destination side named ‘yahoo’. However, as many of you guys pointed out, that is not a preference. Instead, a you would rather see a seamless migration (ie. the old Inbox would end up in the destination Inbox).

For those of you who do prefer to still utilize our ‘prefix’ feature, that is still possible. Simply click on the ‘Bulk action’ text below the folders and select ‘Use a name pattern’. A window will now pop up where you can enter your prefix (eg. some-prefix/$SOURCE_NAME$).

Again, let me reiterate how much we value your feedback. If there’s anything you like or do not like about YippieMove, please let us know!

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YippieMove adds support for Scalix Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:34:16 +0000 We have today added support in YippieMove for the popular groupware Scalix. We are proud to add Scalix to our long list of supported groupware, which includes other popular solutions, such as Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange and Zimbra.

“Adding support for Scalix was pretty straight forward. It basically came down to filtering out a few unsupported IMAP flags,” says Alexander Ljungberg, head of YippieMove’s software development team.

With Scalix added to the list of supported groupware, YippieMove now supports migrating emails between all major groupware. Combine that with our Batch Migration service and jumping from one groupware to another could not get easier.

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Virtual Failure: YippieMove switches from VMware to FreeBSD Jails Mon, 01 Jun 2009 22:46:17 +0000 Our email transfer service YippieMove is essentially software as a service. The customer pays us to run some custom software on fast machines with a lot of bandwidth. We initially picked VMware virtualization technology for our back-end deployment because we desired to isolate individual runs, to simplify maintenance and to make scaling dead easy. VMware was ultimately proven to be the wrong choice for these requirements.

Ever since the launch over a year ago we used VMware Server 1 for instantiating the YippieMove back-end software. For that year performance was not a huge concern because there were many other things we were prioritizing on for YippieMove ’09. Then, towards the end of development we began doing performance work. We switched from a data storage model best described as “a huge pile of files” to a much cleaner sqlite3 design. The reason for this was technical: the email mover process opened so many files at the same time that we’d hit various limits on simultaneously open file descriptors. While running sqlite over NFS posed its own set of challenges, they were not as insurmountable as juggling hundreds of thousands of files in a single folder.

The new sqlite3 system worked great in testing – and then promptly bogged down on the production virtual machines.

CPU usage on one of our core servers running VMWare

Tough CPU week on a server running VMWare

We had heard before that I/O performance and disk performance are the weaknesses of virtualization but we thought we could work around that by putting the job databases on an NFS export from a non virtualized server. Instead the slowness we saw blew our minds. The core servers spent a constant 70% of CPU time with system tasks and despite an uninterrupted 100% CPU usage we could not transfer more than 400KBit/s worth of IMAP traffic per physical machine. This was off by a magnitude from our expected throughput.

Obviously something was wrong. We doubled the amount of memory per server, we quadrupled sqlite’s internal buffers, we turned off sqlite auto-vacuuming, we turned off synchronization, we added more database indexes. These things helped but not enough. We twiddled endlessly with NFS block sizes but that gave nothing. We were confused. Certainly we had expected a performance difference between running our software in a VM compared to running on the metal, but that it could be as much as 10X was a wake-up call.

At this point we realized that no amount of tweaking was likely to get  our new sqlite3 version out of its performance hole. The raw performance just wasn’t there. We suspected at least part of the problem was that we were running FreeBSD guests in VMware. We checked that we were using the right network card driver (yes we were). We checked the OS version – 7.1, yep that one was supposedly the best you could get for VMware. We tuned various sysctl values according to guides we found online. Nothing helped.

We had the ability to switch to a more VM friendly client OS such as Ubuntu and hope it would improve performance. But what if that wouldn’t resolve the situation? That’s when FreeBSD jails came up.

Jails are a sort of lightweight virtualization technique available on the FreeBSD platform. They are like a chroot environment on steroids where not only the file system is isolated out but individual processes are confined to a virtual environment – like a virtual machine without the machine part. The host and the jails use the same hardware but the operating system puts a clever disguise on the hardware resources to make the jail seem like its own isolated system.

Since nobody could think of an argument against using jails we gave them a shot. Jails feature all the things we wanted to get out of VMware virtualization:

  • Ease of management: you can pack up a whole jail and duplicate it easily
  • Isolation: you can reboot a jail if you have to without affecting the rest of the machine
  • Simple scaling: it’s easy to give a new instance an IP and get it going

At the same time jails don’t come with half the memory overhead. And theoretically IO performance should be a lot better since there was no emulated harddrive.

And sure enough, system CPU usage dropped by half. That CPU time was immediately put to good use by our software. And so even that we still ran at 100% CPU usage overall throughput was much higher – up to 2.5MBit/s. Sure there was still space for us to get closer to the theoretical maximum performance but now we were in the right ballpark at least.

More expensive versions of VMware offer process migration and better resource pooling, something we’ll be keen to look into when we grow. It’s very likely our VMware setup had some problems, and perhaps they could have been resolved by using fancier VMware software or porting our software to run in Ubuntu (which would be fairly easy). But why cross the river for water? For our needs today the answer was right in front of us in FreeBSD: jails offer a much more lightweight virtualization solution and in this particular case it was a smash hit performance win.

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YippieMove turns to Zendesk for a modern and scalable help desk Sat, 23 May 2009 02:19:17 +0000 As YippieMove has grown a lot in the past few months, we’ve come to a point where simply sharing a mailbox among the Support Team just won’t cut it anymore. We needed retire the ‘shared mailbox’-approach for a more sophisticated and modern ticket management system.

After spending numerous hours researching various open source support solutions, we realized that none of them were really up to for the challenge. Most of them felt very outdated and cumbersome (like OTRS). A few of them looked promising, but lacked the maturity to use in production. We reached the conclusion that we could not use any free tool, so we started looking into the next best thing — A modern SaaS Help Desk.

It did not take very long until we realized that there was one solution that fitted our needs better than all the other options, namely Zendesk. After signing up for a free trial, we were completely sold. The modern interface, the ability to integrate it into YippieMove with a sub-domain ( and ability to customize the look and feel really impressed us. What made us even more impressed was how easy it was to integrate it into our existing system. It took us less than 6 hours to switch from our old system to have a production ready help desk that even features Single Sign-On (thanks to Jon Gales Django hack). Quite frankly, Zendesk exceeded our expectations.

The only thing we could possibly complain about Zendesk is the pricing (it a bit steep) and the lack of SSL in the lower-tier plans.


Single Sign-on Admin Home
Single Sign-on with YippieMove
Administrator home
End-user Start
End-user start
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The move is completed Sat, 09 May 2009 05:36:30 +0000 If you didn’t catch our tweet a few hours back, we are now successfully moved to the new servers. We’ve started to resume all paused transfers. So far it’s looking great. The speed of the transfers has gone up a lot, which is great.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

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Delayed switch to the new infrastructure Fri, 08 May 2009 19:35:08 +0000 Unfortunately the switch to the new infrastructure was bumpier than expected. When we finally got everything ready for the switch to the new infrastructure, we discovered that some of the new servers did not match the specs we ordered. We’ve talked to our hosting provider, and they promised to fix this as soon as possible.

We sincerely apologize for this delay, but we hope you understand that we cannot control this. The YippieMove website is still working, and you can sign up for new transfers. The only thing that is affected is the actual transfers.

Once we get the servers modified to fit our specs, we will have a small amount of downtime (~20 minutes) where we make the actual switch.

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Scheduled maintenance and down-time Thu, 07 May 2009 18:43:49 +0000 Today we will have some scheduled down-time for YippieMove. The reason for this is that we are moving to new and faster servers to better handle the increased demand for YippieMove. As a result, we have paused all current transfers. The switch to the new servers will take place sometime today (the exact time depends on when we get them ready) and the downtime will likely last for less than 30 minutes. Once we’ve moved to the new servers, we will resume all transfers.

We anticipate that we will be able to improve both the load time on the server, as well as the speed of the transfers. Moreover, the switch to the new servers enables us to scale more seamlessly in the future.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.

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YippieMove breaks Yahoo Mail’s lock-in Tue, 28 Apr 2009 23:48:31 +0000 Today we are really happy to be able to add support for Yahoo Mail in YippieMove. For the first time email can easily be moved in and out of Yahoo Mail accounts. Yahoo Mail, the worldʼs largest provider of email services, does not by itself provide any method for users to transfer email between different accounts and providers. YippieMove breaks down this barrier and enables average users to migrate their own email to or from Yahoo Mail accounts.

Since we launched YippieMove, our customers have been asking for support for Yahoo Mail. Today we are finally able to offer our customers this service.

While many modern email providers, such as Googleʼs Gmail, have opened up to allow easy access to a userʼs email, Yahoo Mail users are still locked in. This is why we are proud to announce support for Yahoo Mail in YippieMove. Finally, this vendor lock-in is broken, and users are free to move their emails in and out of Yahoo.

YippieMove now has a potential reach of over a third of the worldʼs email users. Users can transfer mailboxes to and from Yahoo Mail as well as any of the more than 100 different email providers currently supported.

Guidelines for Yahoo Mail users looking to move

With this new addition to YippieMove, we’ve solved one of the main issues with switching email provider, namely moving the actual emails.

With the emails moved, let’s move on to the next problem — incoming mail. The best way to deal with this is email forwarding. Unfortunately this service requires Yahoo Mail Plus which costs $19.95 per year. If you’re not willing to spend that, you can use the free vacation response-feature and write a note telling everyone emailing you that you’ve switched email address.

The next thing you might want to move is your contacts. To export your contacts is quite straight forward. However, in order to access the export feature, you need to switch to Yahoo Mail Classic. Once you’ve exported your contacts you can import that file into your new email provider.

For more information about YippieMove, visit

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YippieMove migrates Workers United’s email over night Mon, 20 Apr 2009 19:00:54 +0000 Workers United NY NJ, turned to us for their email migration needs. One of their requirements were to be able to move their email without any interruption in their operations. The transfer involved 30 accounts, which was no problems for YippieMove to handle over night. 

To accomplish this transfer over night, we sent WorkersUnited a CSV-file which the accounts details were filled into. At 10PM ET, we loaded the CSV-file into our system and the transfers started. The next morning in New York-time, all transfers were done. The only thing that was needed to be done the following morning was to update the accounts details in Outlook for the users. It’s hard to make a more seamless switch than this. 

“I’m so glad we chose YippieMove to migrate our email – the transition was seamless, and YippieMove was very accessible every step of the way to answer questions and make sure everything went smoothly.” — Cayden Lovejoy, Workers United

For more details about YippieMove, please

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Unleashing YippieMove ’09 Wed, 08 Apr 2009 03:31:28 +0000 Today we are very excited to announce YippieMove ’09, our largest update ever to our user friendly online email transfer solution. YippieMove ’09 breaks down email barriers by unlocking transfers from anywhere to anywhere; you can now take your email from almost any IMAP account and shuttle it over to any other account. All this YippieMove does faster while shining with gorgeous new graphs and visuals.

The idea of YippieMove is to unlock email and let the user make the switch to another email. When the original YippieMove was released we did just that – as long as you wanted to switch to Gmail. That’s all changed. In YippieMove ’09 any of our pre-configured email providers can now be the destination of your email transfer. You set up a new Zimbra mail account? No problem, we’ll get your old email in there. HyperOffice? Sure, if that’s what you want. Just like usual you can enter your own providers too if you’re a little handy.

Speed is up in the new version: through better caching and smart point optimizations in the mover we cut many transfer times in half. Most of you will hardly notice since the previous version of YippieMove routinely chewed through even huge jobs in just a few hours. But for the few of you who carry your whole life memoirs and then some in your inbox, the new version will really race to the finish. To reflect our confidence in the new speedy transfer engine we bumped up all the limits. Transfer twice as many emails and twice as many bytes with this new version: 20,000 emails and 20 GB respectively.

The new status page is the coolest new feature. You now get running updates on your transfer job with much more detail than before. What folders have been transferred and which ones are still in queue, what sizes your folders are, how many emails you have. It’s all in there. And since there’s so much data we have distilled it into line charts and bar charts, giving you an easy overview.

And it’s still all online. There is no bulky Windows-only resource hogging program to download. Nothing to install. Everything happens in our servers, and with our internet connections. Just fill in your details and you’re good to go.

We are really happy with the new version. It’s available today at

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