[Mimedefang] MIMEDefang versus CanIt-Pro versus Barracudas?

Wesley Peters wes at softweyr.com
Thu Nov 29 20:24:40 EST 2007

On Nov 29, 2007, at 3:32 PM, James Ralston wrote:

> Not strictly a MIMEDefang-related question, but...
> Is anyone currently using CanIt-Pro or CanIt-Domain-Pro?  Do those
> products offer the same flexibility as MIMEDefang in terms of being
> able to hook into sendmail via milter?  How well do the per-recipient
> Bayesian filters, whitelists, et. al. work?
> I'm being pushed by management to abandon our sendmail+MIMEDefang
> system in favor of Barracuda appliances.  But because Barracudas don't
> intercept during the SMTP dialog (which is the only safe place to
> reject in terms of not generating backscatter), going with Barracudas
> would mean that no sender would ever receive a DSN from us for any
> reason, because we'd have to configure all downstream mail servers to
> silently discard messages that couldn't be delivered (rather than risk
> generating backscatter).
> I'm loathe to completely break such a fundamental aspect of mail
> delivery, so I'm wondering if CanIt-Pro would give us some of the
> "bullet points" of Barracudas but still retain the deep milter
> integration goodness...

WARNING: I'm going to write VERY frankly about my opinions of email  
filtering, especially Barracuda.  YMMV.  These are not the opinions of  
this list, my current or former employers, or anyone else.

CanIt-Pro is an extension of MIMEDefang.  In fact, it *is* MIMEDefang,  
with a much more thorough filter.  It is an incredibly flexible  
product; anything you can imagine doing with MIMEDefang can be done  
with CanIt-Pro, and much of it is probably already there.

Barracudas products are crap.  It's a business plan that works every  
time: mash together some almost functional open source stuff, slap a  
web UI on it, and pump $40,000,000 into the marketing effort.  Since  
you're not worried about quality, it doesn't much matter if the thing  
is any good, as long as you get it on the market fast and buy lots of  
signs in airports so that every drooling moron 'road warrior' sees  
"Barracuda" when he thinks about spam.

In real world use, everyone I've ever talked to who has a Barracuda  
hates it.  They have to install additional spam filters because the  
Barracuda catch rate is so poor, and they constantly have to fish  
valid emails out of the quarantine because the false-positive rates  
are so high.

On top of their lousy software, they use crappy low-end hardware.   
When I worked in the email filtering industry, we ordered 3 Barracuda  
eval units over a period of 20 months and all 3 arrived DOA, due to  
cheap crappy hardware.  The first one, the CPU had fallen out of the  
socket -- if it was ever put in the socket in the first place.  When  
we opened the box, the chassis was so flimsy that holding it by one  
corner would bend the bottom of the box into the bottom of the mobo,  
which was NOT protected by a plastic sheet.  Saving $0.05 on a plastic  
sheet - now THAT'S QUALITY.

CanIt-Pro vs. Barracuda?  Not even a question.  Boy I'm glad to be  
done with the spam fighting business.

             Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Wes Peters                                                     wes at softweyr.com

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