Located on 320 acres of rolling parkland the University of East Anglia serves over 15,000 students with almost 3,000 faculty and staff members. As in many organizations SPAM was becoming more and more of a problem affecting the daily lives of staff and students alike. Explains IT Systems Specialist Ian Yates, “We were using SpamAssasin before, which we found effective but it was becoming so much work trying to keep definitions up to date.” Besides trying to keep up with the spammers Yates and his team also struggled to keep all the users across 23 distinct schools of study happy. A 1st year student may have differing needs than a post-graduate student conducting laboratory research. Continues Yates, “We are so diverse here, that every time we'd tailor the rules a certain way we'd make a lot of people happy, then really frustrate a few.”
Beginning the search for a new solution to the school's spam problem Ian found several potential suppliers but came away with a bad taste in his mouth. “...often these companies seemed more interested in flogging a box or product. The support wasn't there and the price definitely seemed expensive.” Desperate, he and his team began creating their own anti-spam software based off of SpamAssasin. That's when they discovered CanIt-PRO. Yates explains, “CanIt stood out right from the start with its high flexibility and Roaring Penguin's excellent support.” Among the favourite features were the ability to delegate content filtering to user control so end users can filter email exactly as they please. This, combined with the user's ability to train they system as to what is SPAM and non-SPAM saves Yates` department countless hours writing custom filters for various users.
UEA runs CanIt-PRO on HP BladeSystem Servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, processing 1.2 million email/day and blocking 96% of it as spam. Yates also notes that the spam/non-spam classification accuracy has increased significantly in the 7 months of using CanIt. And while spam problems have gone way down, positive feedback has gone way up, causing a new trend for the IT department. Yates explains, “We've actually got people calling us to say thanks!” Do Different indeed.
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Roaring Penguin specializes in e-mail filtering, focusing on fighting spam at the mail server with their MIMEDefang & CanIt products. Roaring Penguin develops & supports its spam- & virus-fighting products for Webhosts, ISPs, campuses & enterprises.