Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our Anti-Spam Saga

Our "Uncrashable" Notes Server has only crashed a few times in the last five years.

Once it was due to an Archiving agent having issues with a corrupted mail.

Every other time has been due to incompatibilities between the Symantec MailSecurity package and Windows.

When we first got this package, we were very impressed and indeed it performed quite well for a number of years. The first really "WRONG" step, was when symantec lazily decided to get their premium Anti-Spam product to run from the Microsoft SMTP Service rather than from within Notes.

This is not a technical issue. It's a cost cutting measure.

Over the years, this one decision has caused us no end of grief.

The final straw came a couple of months ago when we were about to go live with our second website on the same server. obviously we needed to move our configuration settings to site documents.

Everything went fine until the reboot.

Following the reboot, the Premium section of the Symantec MailSecurity Service displayed a single error message indicating that it didnt work with Site documents. It then ceased to function. Obviously our spam numbers increased.

I decided to turn the whole thing off (and have now completely uninstalled it). The Spam volume didn't climb much higher, so obviously the Premium service was useful, while the standard service is not.

We still have Anti-Virus software on all our PCs and on our Firewall, so we're well protected. The server will shortly become part of a cluster in a hosting environment. When this happens, the Hosting Service's Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam services will kick in to provide improved protection.

We're obviously keeping our Symantec Hardware firewall, but I've decided that since I'm not happy with reporting and compatibility of the Symantec Client Security package, I'll be replacing it when licensing comes up for renewal.

I've mentioned this to Symantec in their customer feedback surveys, but they're not interested enough to contact me and look at other options.

I guess that the point I'm making here is that if companies don't make the effort to properly support my platform, I wont be using their product.

You would expect Symantec would be keen to retain customers, especially when Microsoft is about to launch their competing security suite. (though I don't expect to see a notes/domino solution in it).

"You have paid the price for your lack of vision" - Emperor Palpatine.