Product Information

IronPort C60

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April 12, 2005
SC Magazine Best Buy
Vendor:

IronPort Systems

Product:

IronPort C60 (Group Test: Email content filtering)

Website:

http://www.ironport.com

Price

$63,500

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstarstarstar
  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
    starstarstar
  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
    starstarstar
  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
    starstarstarstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    The system has powerful hardware and a comprehensive feature set.

  • Weaknesses:

    The management interface's slow response could be irritating.

  • Verdict:

    This is a serious contender in the ISP and enterprise markets.

The IronPort C60 is aimed at the enterprise and ISP markets, and the hardware specification reflects this, with its twin Intel Xeon processors, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one fast Ethernet port and redundant power supplies. This provides a range of networking options, with one port dedicated to management access, while the other two can be configured as internal and external connections.

Initial set up uses a command line interface, with a choice of connection options, either telnet or SSH over Ethernet or through a serial connection and terminal emulation program.

In either case, the procedure is straightforward with no nasty surprises, although wading through interminable license agreements to set up evaluation copies of Symantec's Brightmail anti-spam and Sophos anti-virus software can be tedious.

All other configuration and management can then be carried out using a browser interface, and there is no need to revert to the command line. The browser interface is simple and uncluttered, providing access to statistics and configuration options. In use, we found the interface to be a little unresponsive, although the system's mail processing performance was apparently unaffected.

Apart from the slow response, we found the interface to be easy to understand and use, with good online help available throughout.

Further detailed information is provided in the printed manuals, which cover all aspects of the system's configuration and use.

There were some anomalies in the way the system processed mail. Some innocuous messages were tagged as possibly containing viruses, and some obvious spam messages were passed without comment. However,we got better results when we altered the default values, although spam still arrived without comment.

IronPort also offers its own web-based service, SenderBase, that monitors email statistics provided to it and identifies the most prolific senders. Signing up for it does mean sending statistics about the traffic passing through the device, but no confidential data is collected.

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