IronPort C300 Email Security Appliance
Strengths: Comprehensive anti-spam options.
Weaknesses: Limited reporting options.
Verdict: A capable system for the medium-sized enterprise market.
The C300 is aimed at SMEs handling up to 5,000 email users. Its 2U height chassis contains an Intel Xeon processor backed with two 143GB hard drives in RAID-1 configuration and redundant power supplies. Two Gigabit Ethernet connections provide network connections, with a third 10/100 Base-T Ethernet connection for management.
Set up was very simple, and we had the device configured and running in minutes. The browser management interface is logical and well designed, and its online help system offers extensive explanations and examples.
The system uses its own IronPort SenderBase system for traffic analysis and sender identification, while Symantec’s Brightmail anti-spam system handles the content filtering. Further processing is carried out via the policy system and new policies can be added.
We found it easy to generate a policy to inspect mail addressed to particular users. If the content matched our search strings, the system would block the delivery and send a notification to another specified user that the mail has been received. Search strings can be regular expressions for even greater flexibility. You can also apply these policy rules in any order, intercepting mail before it enters the anti-spam system.
Sender verification can even be configured to automatically reject or accept mail from listed domains and email addresses.
The reporting system allows reports to be sent to multiple recipients, but only two types: an incoming volume report and a system summary report. However, these can be configured to run at different intervals, and the various sections can be reordered and omitted so that a reasonable amount of flexibility is possible.
System alerts can be emailed to various recipients as required, and these can also be configured to send different alerts to different recipients. Further information is available in a quick report option, found on the monitoring page.