This latest piece of software from Rockliffe is quite a change from the norm. MailSite MP (Message Protector) is a gateway product designed to sit in front of a mail server and filter spam, viruses and combat DOS attacks.

The product acts as an MTA (Message Transfer Agent) in front of the mail server or a cluster of mail servers. It has very modest installation requirements and so we expected a reasonable throughput in our tests (as with any software, greater throughput can be achieved with more memory).

The software comprises several components: the MailSite engine, the Console, and Command Line utilities. Our installation guide recommended that all components be installed on a single server, but the software can be installed over several systems if needs be.

The setup wizard provided is easy to get through. We had to provide details of the default domain and the host name of the email server. We also had to make sure the MX records were updated.

The console offers a number of options to configure the various parts of the software. We found it painless to set the server to mitigate DoS and directory harvest attacks.

We enabled the software to scan our test messages for spam in all incoming and outgoing mail. Other options exist to scan messages by domain or to and from individual mailboxes.

The administrator can set up policies for dealing with spam and other questionable email messages through the console, and tag messages according to rules.

Obvious spam can be discarded, with borderline cases relayed to the admin account for further action.

Once configured, the software performs reasonably well, though not blisteringly fast. It should be noted, however, that as the gateway can run on a separate box from the mail server, it takes a lot of strain off the mail server. Overall performance was acceptable.