Sendmail Sentrion DS 3.0

June 6, 2008
Sendmail Sentrion DS 3.0 is a rack-mounted email authentication appliance used strictly for applying digital signatures to outbound emails. Deployed as a “last hop” gateway device, Sentrion uses Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) to sign all messages.

The appliance was incredibly easy to implement into our test environment. We were able to power on the device and configure basic settings in a matter of minutes. Configuration can be accomplished either via command line or a crossover cable for initial setup, and the rest is done through a secured web browser connection.

Performance-wise, this is definitely a specialty appliance. The horsepower of the server is needed because of the sheer volume of enterprise emails that it may encounter. Because the device specifically signs all outbound messages using DKIM, the overhead in terms of processing power can add up. In larger enterprises, all of the processed emails will require cryptographic checksums. Lesser servers will have trouble dealing with this.

Performance degradation will be apparent as the number of real-time messages grows exponentially. Fortunately, the Sentrion DS appliance is scalable and can handle signing duties for large numbers of emails without any trouble at all. Most organizations will find the scalability to be more than adequate. Even though DKIM is an officially adopted IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standard, some organizations may not see the benefit quite yet, because of the number of choices and standards available with regard to sender authentication. More and more ISPs are using DKIM to validate email messages, however, and organizations that consider the integrity of email messages to be a priority will find this appliance very attractive.

Sendmail offers three levels of support and its support site is structured nicely around the various tiers offered.

Pricing starts at $15,000. Because the appliance only functions as a digital signer, only those organizations that prioritize message integrity and wish to add-on to their infrastructure will truly benefit from the product.

Product title
Sendmail Sentrion DS 3.0
Product info
Name: Sentrion DS Description: Price: starts at $15,000
Strength
Enterprise-class device with plenty of horsepower to add DKIM signing to outbound messages.
Weakness
Specialty appliance that may disappoint customers looking for more features in one appliance.
Verdict
This product is a great value for organizations wishing to adopt DKIM for message integrity.
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