New Offerings Ease E-Mail Headaches

Improved e-mail management takes center stage in new releases from DYS Analytics, GFI Software and Gordano. Each promise to help administrators get a better handle on their mail systems.

New software and service offerings in the pipeline from DYS Analytics Inc., GFI Software Ltd. and Gordano Ltd. promise to help e-mail system administrators get a better handle on their mail systems, specifically dealing with traffic management, security and remote access.

DYS Analytics will release Version 4 of its Email Control for Lotus Domino at IBMs Lotusphere show Jan. 27. The upgraded software, which is used to manage Domino messaging service levels, features automated report distribution to designated individuals and expanded data collection options that help IT managers spot problems with e-mail network performance faster.

Email Control 4.0 supports larger volumes of data and has more sophisticated charting options, sorting power and graphical reporting assistants, according to DYS Analytics officials, in Wellesley, Mass.

A new Service Level Agreement Wizard measures performance against SLA goals. Enhanced report design capabilities provide both IT managers and business managers with information on network conditions.

Version 4.0 also provides analysis to help administrators fine-tune their networks and plan and manage such initiatives as server consolidations, network mergers and domain consolidations. It can also be used for mail topology design and optimization, load balancing for better utilization of existing servers, bandwidth, and storage, and e-mail traffic reduction programs.

"Ill be interested to see how the new import/export features work," said Ron Meyers, manager, Lotus Notes systems, at Anixter International Inc. "When you want to export data into [Microsoft Corp.s] Access [database] or Excel [spreadsheet], it can be hard to deal with when you have a large volume of it. I like to get the data set out and play around with it a bit, but the current version doesnt handle it very well. Im hoping they improved that a little bit."

Anixter, a wiring and cabling products distributor, uses an earlier version of Email Control to run automated reports daily on how its Lotus Notes messaging system is working. The reports tally the time it takes for mail to move through the system, the volume of mail coming in and going out, replication rates, and the like.

Meyers said that Anixter has 40-50 Domino servers worldwide. Email Control helped him get a handle on where problems were in his network. System runs much more smoothly because of it, he said.

"The reports come out in black and white," said Meyers, in Skokie, Ill. "You can make decisions based on analytics. It takes the politics and emotions out of it."

Separately, GFI looks to answer another major issue for e-mail administrators with a new anti-virus service. The U.K.-based company with U.S. headquarters in Cary, N.C., this week introduced Email Security Testing Zone, two new tests for detecting viruses in Microsofts Outlook XP e-mail systems.

Though Outlook XPs default security settings prevent users from running executable attachments to e-mail messages, some attachments are disguised well enough to circumvent those protections, GFI officials said. The new tests simulate such attachments to check how airtight the Outlook XP-based systems security is.

Both tests consist of an e-mail carrying an executable attachment in disguise. One contains a Microsoft Class ID file extension, while the other is based on a malformed HTML Application file extension.

Administrators can register for the tests at GFIs Web site. The tests are intended to demonstrate the value of GFIs Mail Essentials e-mail content checking gateway software, which can be set to remove viruses, spam, dangerous attachments and offensive content from incoming messages.

In other messaging news, Gordano next week will release version 2.1 of its GL WebMail product, a Web-based mail client designed for providing remote access to corporate mail servers.

New features in this version include support for importing Outlook, Lotus Notes and Netscape Mail address books. It also has automatic vCard inclusion and decoding.