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IronPort Systems' IronPort C30 is a midrange email-security appliance for the small-to-midsized business (SMB). The appliance supports spam detection, virus protection, and content filtering, but what sets it apart are two advanced features: IronPort Reputation Filters and IronPort Virus Outbreak Filters.

Reputation Filters assess email content, then create a reputation score for each sender. Based on policies that you set, the product uses the reputation scores to identify suspicious senders and throttle messages from those senders. The filters make use of IronPort's SenderBase, an open database that the IronPort C30 uses to determine aspects of senders' IP addresses—ranging from whether the address is an open relay to whether the address has a history of spam complaints. The Virus Outbreak Filters are designed explicitly to recognize and block any sudden influx of new virus-laden email messages.

Getting the IronPort C30 up and running is easy. Access takes place through a network or serial connection. The product's setup wizard walks you through the necessary setup steps. By default, the setup process creates two listeners—one public and one private—that manage inbound and outbound email traffic. You can configure the public listener to receive email for multiple domains and to route messages to the appropriate SMTP servers.

This appliance gives you detailed control over how email is handled. You can create detailed filter rules and create actions according to those rules. The product's Web interface is simple to use, and the command-line control is quick, amazingly easy, and well documented. The IronPort C30 costs more than a software-based option but also provides greater control over email and offers a greater level of protection for your network.

IronPort C30
Contact: IronPort Systems * 650-989-6530
Price: Contact the vendor for specific pricing, dependent upon configuration
Pros: Excellent edge protection for your email infrastructure
Cons: Price could be a stumbling block for smaller networks
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Recommendation: If your budget can be stretched this far and your email traffic warrants it, an IronPort appliance is a good investment.
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