Strengths: Great set of security and content management features
Weaknesses: Unexpectedly high renewal and maintenance fees for what is a virtual appliance
Verdict: A very strong product, but high costs associated with owning it
InterScan Messaging Security Virtual Appliance 7 (IMSVA) from Trend Micro ships as a virtual appliance and can be installed on a few different platform architectures. For our particular lab environment we installed it using VMware ESX 3.5. The product supports anti-spam, anti-virus, gateway encryption and content filtering.
Trend Micro also references and offers a separate Email Encryption Gateway that is not part of this review.
The solution was a breeze to install and we had the virtual appliance up and running within minutes. It provides a layered approach to inbound and outbound email content management with regards to anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-virus and content filtering technologies.
The IMSVA acts as a gateway for existing SMTP architectures, but a portion of the services are cloud-based and the subscription is managed by Trend Micro to provide real-time protection and checking against URLs, content, IPs and other information.
Out of the box, the solution comes with all of the expected feature sets for encryption (gateway-only via TLS) and content management. All of these are implemented fairly well. Real-time inspection of sender IP addresses and URLs helps to thwart phishing attacks and suppress spam even further. The policy management integrated into the solution can filter on users, groups, senders or recipients. Overall, it has a solid set of functionality.
Documentation on the appliance and the overall support experience for users at the Trend Micro website are strong. We encountered one small difficulty connecting to the Trend Micro knowledgebase directly from the appliance, however.
Basic phone and email support is included with the licence fee and additional support packages at various levels are available for an extra fee.
Although the product options are very strong, we were disappointed to see the 30 per cent renewal/maintenance fee for a virtual software appliance.
IMSVA 7 has a great set of security and content management features. However, overall we feel that the expensive maintenance fees mar what is otherwise a very good product from Trend Micro.