Strengths: Extremely capable email security appliance.
Weaknesses: Sluggish control panel interface.
Verdict: Probably pitched at the very high end of the SME market, so might not be suitable for less advanced users with less demanding requirements.
The device sports Ironport’s own hardened operating system, AsyncOS 4.0, and has a feature base including anti-spam, antivirus, mail flow monitoring, message encryption and virtual gateway technology.
SenderBase, a reputation filter developed by Ironport, is the cornerstone of the appliance, collating statistics anonymously from multiple sources in order to weed out spam, based on the sender’s IP address. This also integrates with Symantec’s Brightmail 6.0 anti-spam offering.
On the AV side, it also supports Sophos’ AV scanning engine, while Ironport provides its home-grown Virus Outbreak Filter system, which integrates with SenderBase to quarantine dangerous messages until the relevant AV updates are available. Quarantining itself is a new feature of the appliance, but we could not set a quarantine condition for incoming spam.
Installation was relatively straightforward. We simply connected it to the network and accessed the control panel via a web-based management interface.
There are several pages of data input to trawl through, but this should not present too much of a hassle to the knowledgeable administrator. The management interface is user-friendly, displaying all the options in one location, and takes the interesting approach of using graphs as well as numerical statistics to display information – thereby providing an instant overview of how the device is performing. Our only gripe with the interface was that it felt a little sluggish, with a noticeable time lag when manoeuvring between different pages of the control panel and when updating the device after modifying a feature.
A policy manager allows you to differentiate how the device deals with spam, email and content based upon your own conditions. The appliance does not come with any pre-set filters, but you can set your own up in no time.
The C10 interface features a new ‘reporting’ tab, which can be set to automatically generate and deliver reports to users on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and can contain information on the top spammers and virus senders, among other conditions.