Sybari Locks Out Most Spam

 
 
By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2003-11-10
 
 
 
Enterprises of any size that use Microsoft Corp.s Exchange and are looking for a robust, manageable, anti-spam solution should consider Sybari Software Inc.s Advanced Spam Defense system.

In eWEEK Labs tests, the Sybari ASD software was simple to deploy and quickly ready to tackle spam-filtering tasks in any Exchange environment, while providing flexible anti-spam filtering policies and user-friendly spam management capabilities.

The Sybari package combines ASD Gateway software with the companys global ASD Service Centers. The ASD Gateway software resides in front of an Exchange environment and provides local spam-filtering capabilities using a local database with predefined policies created for specific enterprises.

ASD Gateways database queries ASD Service Centers when it finds suspicious messages it cant match and updates itself accordingly. The ASD signature used to identify spam messages is small (about 512 bytes), so ASD Gateways queries against a center dont create much network traffic. If ASD Gateway loses contact with a service center, e-mail isnt interrupted, but the gateway must rely on its own database for spam matching.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Sybari Advanced Spam Defense

Sybaris ASD suite provides a flexible, manageable anti-spam solution for Exchange shops of all sizes. Its strong spam-filtering policies are customizable from the enterprise level down to the individual user. The ASD system has a starting flat fee of $2,000 for up to 100 users; per-user licensing is available for larger deployments.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
USABILITY EXCELLENT
CAPABILITY GOOD
PERFORMANCE GOOD
INTEROPERABILITY FAIR
MANAGEABILITY EXCELLENT
SCALABILITY GOOD
SECURITY GOOD
  • PRO: Strong anti-spam-filtering capabilities with ASD service centers; flexible deployment options; easy to set up and manage.
  • CON: Supports only Microsoft Exchange.

  • EVALUATION SHORT LIST
    ActiveState Corp.s PureMessage Brightmails Anti-Spam Enterprise Edition FrontBridge Technologies TrueProtect Message Management Suite
    ASD Service Centers use a content-free inspection technique to minimize false positives and maintain an extensive archive of global spam signatures. The centers provide real-time spam analysis to ASD Gateways using unique spam signatures, so identification gets done quickly over the Web. Queries are performed using selected characters from an e-mail message and the sender and recipient fields, ensuring message confidentiality. Sybari uses MD5 encryption for data transmissions between ASD Gateway and the ASD Service Center.

    Sybari ASD, released last month, starts at $2,000 for up to 100 users. Higher-volume licensing ranges from $10 per user to $34 per user.

    IT managers can set up ASD Gateway on an Exchange server or on a separate server. ASD Gateway can be installed directly on the Exchange 2003 or 2000 server. Exchange 5.5 sites can deploy ASD Gateway on a separate Windows 2003 or 2000 server. IT managers can set up ASD Gateway on a server with complementary security applications such as anti-virus software.

    In larger deployments, ASD Gateway can be installed on multiple servers to provide load balancing or fault- tolerance capabilities. In this scenario, the ASD database should be installed on shared resources to be accessible to every ASD Gateway on the network.

    ASD has a minimum hardware requirement of an Intel Corp. 500MHz Pentium III processor, 256MB of memory and 200MB of disk space.

    ASD Gateway installation and setup were surprisingly easy in tests. After we installed the software, we used the ASD configuration wizard to set up the database store connectivity options, integrated ASD with our Exchange environment and connected to the Active Directory server. We configured general settings, such as creating the spam quarantine folder, using the wizard.

    Because the ASD Service Center handles the bulk of the spam-filtering administration, the ASD Gateway can quickly manage spam right out of the box with minimal administration required.

    ASD Administrator, the Web-based user interface for all spam management tasks, enables IT managers to maintain a high level of control and customization. Using ASD Administrator, we easily set up white lists and blacklists based on domains, IP addresses or user information.

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    Technical Editor Francis Chu can be reached at francis_chu@ziffdavis.com.

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