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E-mail Upgrades

E-mail Upgrades

E-mail Upgrades

IronportThe words that used to fill us with dread 'e-mail upgrades!'. E-mail is the most important service that an ISP provides after connectivity so why does it get treated as a second class service? Well at Plusnet it doesn't! We've had our issues with the e-mail service in the past but these are long behind us and we have invested significantly in the platform in recent years, and continue to do so. In fact we're about to embark on more upgrades in the coming weeks and months, further improving our anti-spam/anti-virus solution by rolling out Ironport appliances. Then early next year we're giving our webmail a new lick of paint and moving to Roundcube. Those of you who've been around a while will remember that we upgraded our anti-spam/anti-virus solution around a year ago to a commercial product from Postini which gave us significant benefit over our in-house system. We have been working hard in the background evaluating a number of alternative systems including Postini of which Ironport was the clear leader for our environement. The key benefits of the Ironport system are:

  • Improved detection rates
  • Decreased false positives
  • Outbound scanning to ensure we are not blacklisted
  • DKIM signed e-mail
  • Quarantine notification
  • Secure SMTP delivery

We've seen issues mentioned this year on The Register with e-mail upgrades and migrations at Sky and this week migration issues at Tiscali I want to assure you that our planned upgrades will not cause you any issues and I'm sure you'll agree that they enhance your service. Bob will be along shortly with a detailed post on our planned migration to Ironport with all of the technical details of what the system will offer you. Update: Bob's post has now been published and can be found here. Phil Webb Networks Director, Plusnet

 

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Has roundcube been fully tested? The latest version available is 0.2beta, and I know from using it myself that it has a few bugs and missing features. Seeing you mention how important email is and then seeing you suggest using a young beta software package for that email worries me slightly.
Hi Andy, We're aware that Roundcube is still very much in development however it does have stable releases and I don't really think that there's anything significant that's missing when compared to SquirrelMail. We've been running some closed beta trials using the service over the last month or so and feedback's been really good. Don't forget that we wouldn't be the only people to use Roundcube either. It's getting more and more respect as a viable alternative to the longer standing clients, and its open source nature will make it easy for us to influence and contribute to the development cycle. Andrews & Arnold have been running Roundcube alongside Squirrel for a while now - http://aaisp.blogspot.com/2008/10/roundcube-webmail-upgrade.html One of my domains is hosted with a provider that offers Roundcube alongside DIMP/Horde & Squirrel. If I do ever need to quickly access the email for this account remotely then it's Roundcube I tend to prefer above the others. Testing of course is paramount, and the solution will undergo penetration and stress testing prior to any public beta launch.
What is the exact intention with Ironport. A direct replacement for Postini or to run along side it and offer even more protection? Andy
It will be a replacement Andy, but the two will run alongside each other whilst customers are migrated across. The spam controls you have access to in the Manage My Mail tool will remain as they are.
Hi Bob Just out of interest really, what model IronPorts will you be deploying?
4 x X1060's and 2 x M-Series. http://www.ironport.com/pdf/ironport_x1060_datasheet.pdf http://www.ironport.com/pdf/ironport_m-series_datasheet.pdf That's for inbound spam filtering. We've another 4 x X1060's that we're hoping to replace the outbound mail platform with too over the coming months. We've also got two boxes for our staging environment (I think they're C360's). We've got some spare X1060's for expansion too.
Really this means then the SPAM filtering won't be outsourced anymore to America via Postini, and in effect it will be kept within the PlusNet network. Great news if it is this then, this will keep some of the small minority happy who were removed from the SPAM filtering due to the outsourcing concern. Bob, have you posted a detailed post anywhere on the community site with more details of this, and wheather this will be trialled first with some customers (Hint Hint). Thanks Andy
Giving some very serious thought to bringing my mail under PN in addition to connectivity, particularly as you are now deploying ironports.
Andy, watch this space for the finer details, they'll be posted before the end of the week.
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[...] for the email upgrade is continuing towards achieving beta testing completion allowing us to move into gamma testing [...]
Newbie
When you say "Secure SMTP delivery" do you mean authenticated SSL connections? Also: will you be implementing Authenticated SMTP? will DKIM work with hosted customer domain names?
AFAIK it will be SSL over port 465 Andrew. Authenticated SMTP will be offered on subscription accounts as it is now but you might need to use the actual mailbox login details as opposed to your default username and password (which may or may not be the same). I suspect DKIM would work with hosted domains as they all reside in the same mail database although I'd have to double check that.
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[...] of you who manage to catch the teaser posted by our Network Director Phil Webb a couple of days ago, will already be aware that [...]