Product Information

Ecelerity Edge 75

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April 12, 2005
Vendor:

OmniTi Computer Consulting

Product:

Ecelerity Edge 75 (Group Test: Email content filtering)

Website:

http://www.omniti.com

Price

$5,000

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    A flexible and extendable system.

  • Weaknesses:

    It lacks the level of user-friendliness of other similar products.

  • Verdict:

    An effective device, but a high level of technical expertise is needed to get the best from it.

The Ecelerity Edge 75 looks good in its silver case with blue lights, and the color scheme is carried over into the browser interface, which is well laid out and simple to navigate.

Installation presented few problems, although the three-page quick installation guide is concise almost to the point of terseness and the device has two Ethernet ports instead of the one mentioned in the documentation.

Once the system was running, we could connect to the management interface, which provides a complete picture of mail activity with graphs on almost every aspect of the systems operation in almost overwhelming detail.

The interface is fairly intuitive, which is just as well since there is no documentation provided for it, and no context-sensitive help. The online help button just produces a set of documentation relating to the technicalities of the software, so if you are unfamiliar with the intricacies of FreeBSD, Sieve and Perl, you will be very unhappy indeed at this point.

Several of the configuration options available from the interface also require the administrator to edit configuration files and scripts, which is not very user-friendly. But the interface is on firmer ground when configuring such familiar features as reverse DNS lookups, connection checks and blacklists and whitelists. The Edge 75 is unusual in using the Sieve language for its mail content filtering. Sieve was specifically designed for just this purpose and is a fairly straightforward language to use if you are familiar with scripting languages in general.

However, although the Sieve Manifesto warns: "this form of editing is probably appropriate only for very knowledgeable users and administrators," the system only provides a text interface into the language. Some form of graphical editor, perhaps similar to those used by some systems to generate firewall rules, would be a distinct improvement.

The advantage of filtering systems such as Sieve is that you can customize the filters. The disadvantage is that you will almost certainly have to do so, since you cannot teach the system new rules by feeding it new examples of spam. That said, if you have the necessary time and expertise available to achieve it, the Edge 75 offers enough features and options to produce an effective mail filtering set-up.

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