At the height of Wittig's spam woes, the company had 250 employees and was primarily a Microsoft shop running a single Linux server, SpamAssassin, the open source mail filter, and SUSE Linux email software. Today, with more than 525 employees, the company has two Windows email servers and a load balancer. Wittig runs Vircom's ModusMail, Windows-based email server software -- and here's the good part -- it has antispam software built in. Taking this road meant Wittig abandoned Linux and rejected two alternative routes: to outsource his problem to a message management company (which was too expensive, Wittig says) or migrate his shop to an Exchange server. "We wanted to avoid Exchange -- it's pricey and subject to viruses and malware -- things we don't want our network exposed to," Wittig says. "We're a Microsoft shop in other respects, but didn't feel warm and fuzzy about going to Exchange."
Wittig saved money by going with ModusMail. He estimates he would have spent $40,000 by going with Exchange. Instead, he spent $18,000 on the two servers and a load balancer and $11,000 on the software.
It's been a month since go-live, and Wittig has counted 150,000 blocked spam messages. "I don't have to listen to people complain, and I get pats on the back now." Problem solved.
Stefanie McCann was formerly editor at large at CIO Decisions magazine. To comment on this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in July 2006