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My New Spam Filter

By Dumphrey ·
Well, about a month ago, we started the process of moving two of the businesses we run to a new location (next door to where I am atm). During this move process, which took 3 weeks btw, our Spam filter decided to go south.
We had been running the same little Barracuda 200 for about 4 years. When I started here two years ago, it was blocking an avg of 25,000 Spam a day. Before I took it out of service last Monday, it was blocking an average of 210,000 Spam a day. I say blocking; really it was struggling to keep up. At least 2 times a week the Spam volume would consume all of its tcp/ip connections and the queue would build up until mail was being delivered 8 hours or so late. But as anyone who has admined an email server will tell you, end users KNOW when they did not get email, usually down to the minute. It?s like a super power. "This morning, at 8:15:23, I should have received an e-mail from a Doctor Jones, who is a customer, and 5 emails attempting to sell me prescription drugs." Scary.
Well, I started looking around for an upgrade to the barracuda, our 200 was rated for a number of users (200, we have 35), and not by traffic volume. Okay, not bad idea for a new install, but poor poor, poor choice for an admin who knows their volume, and knows user numbers != reality. (Example, 80 of the Spam that gets through go to 2 users, both with very common names). Also, spammers send out mail in bulk to any domain they can find. The number of users is less a tell of volume then length of presence on the Internet. (This is my opinion). But I digress.
The next level up barracuda, the 300, was going to cost us about $4500 all said and done. (Note, a one year updates on a model 300 cost about $200 per year more then for a model 200).
After looking around I stumbled on Iron Port. Called Dell, and got a quote. $2500 for the unit and 3 years of support. We ordered it.
For once, it took Dell the full 10 days of build time; latter I realized this was because they build the server, ship it to Iron Port, who installs software and ships it to the customer. I spent several hours going over the set up and configurations on the Iron Port, got all the basics set up correctly, unplugged the network cable, and assigned it the same IP as our current filter. I then put in the rack rails, and snapped the filter into place. Now all I had to do was wait till 5pm, turn off the barracuda, plug its net cable and power line into the Iron Port, and turn on the Iron port. This was achieved with zero fuss. The iron port immediately began to filter mail.
Since then, I have spent at least an hour a day looking at the interface and set up on the Iron Port. The more I look, the more I like. Iron port is releasing a new OS for the device at the end of the month; this should add enhanced message tracking. Nice.
Who else has used Iron Port, and was their experience as smooth as mine? Any experience with the Barracuda 300? I?m not knocking Barracuda, it filtered like a champ, but the hardware we needed cost almost twice the Iron Port. Thoughts, feeling, or ideas on Spam appliances?

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SpamFilter ISP ?

by roberto In reply to My New Spam Filter

It's probably too late to reply, but have you looked at SpamFilter ISP ( It's a software solution for Windows, not an appliance, but is licensed at a fixed price ($600) rather than per-user. It can easily handle 200,000 emails/day by running on a 2GHz dual core CPU. With a couple of dual-core 3GHz CPUs you'll be able to handle over 1-2 million emails/day.
The company started in 2002, the software has *lots* of options, and the accuracy rate in catching spam/reducing the false positives is outstanding.

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Iron Port?

by Jaqui In reply to My New Spam Filter

not me. I have looked at Iron Mail's products.
If I ever have to go to a specialised device to filter email I'll probably go with an Iron Mail solution

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Well the new filter

by Dumphrey In reply to Iron Port?

has been in for just about a month now I guess (3 weeks and a few days?). We ended up ordering the Iron Port. I am glad we did.
It runs a *nix based os called AsynchOS, comes with a "beginner" manual of about 600 pages and then an "advanced" manual of close to the same. If messages get stuck in the queues, I can free them myself (try to force and or delete) unlike with barracuda. But the barracuda had significantly better message tracking. But, so far, we are getting 99.9% block rate (as opposed to 99.4 with the Blue Fish) and no false positives as of yet.
The filter is catching between 180,000 and 400,000 spam a day, and running at 3-12% capacity during (highest load was a 46% spike during an update, but otherwise it runs at under 6% daily).

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