We have a website that monitors weather conditions. A cron job runs frequently, which generates alerts if it's too windy/hot/whatever. We already have all this running with alerts being sent by email, on a shared hosting environment.
If we set up our own web server (most likely linux of some flavor), I'd like to avoid having to run a mail server, as we have neither the time nor expertise to properly maintain it.
I can apparently use an API to send our SMS-based alerts direct to that provider, but some folks want emails as well as texts. Also, this data is extremely time-sensitive; the users must receive alerts reliably and instantly.
What else can I use to send out alerts? What other ways exist for getting data off a server? Can I send email from one user only, without even receiving incoming mail? Or should we bite the bullet and use an external email handling service like Fastmail?