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weird: too many connections when there is none.

Today I noticed a strange thing: on a machine where zmailer 2.99.49p6a5
is not restarted regularily and that normally only gets mail from a
single host (main relay), smtpserver started responding with

crosser@deimos:~/$ telnet selena 25
Connected to selena.sovam.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
450-Too many simultaneous connections from same IP address (20 max 10)
450 Come again latter
Connection closed by foreign host.

There where *no* open connections at that moment.  Smtpserver was running
16 days and was happily receiving mail from this host before.  Restarting
smtpserver cured the problem.