The Cyrus IMAP server differs from other IMAP server implementations in that it is generally intended to be run on sealed servers, where normal users are not permitted to log in. The mailbox database is stored in parts of the filesystem that are private to the Cyrus IMAP system. All user access to mail is through the IMAP, POP3, or KPOP protocols.
The private mailbox database design gives the server large advantages in efficiency, scalability, and administratability. Multiple concurrent read/write connections to the same mailbox are permitted. The server supports access control lists on mailboxes and storage quotas on mailbox hierarchies.