Anti-Spam-SMTP-Proxy (ASSP) – a great alternative to Commercial AntiSpam solution

Earlier this year, I was asked by a friend on an anti-spam solution for his college. Being an Education type of organization, they have a limited budget and can’t afford to subscribe to the commercial service nor can they buy a dedicated appliance.

I’ve read about ASSP sometime back in 2005 and revisited it in 2007 but never managed to try it and now I finally got a chance to test it out. It took me a series of failures on the installation and configuration, I managed to get ASSP up and running.

To start, I subscribe a VPS server  from a company called TOCICI (http://www.buildyourvps.com/). Great support and its darn cheap compared to other provider.

Setup

Below are my setup of the ASSP server

  • Hardware – 1 VCPU, 1GB RAM & 20GB Disk (10GB should be enough but I put in extra just in case) Even if put 4GB RAM & 40GB Disk, it’s still much much cheaper than what I’m offered by some of the provider.
  • Software – Sendmail as MTA, ASSP as AntiSpam, ClamAV as Antivirus
  • OS – Centos 5.6

I’m using Google as my guide and my kudos to  with his entry. it helps me a lot during my installation. You can visit the entry using the link below

http://www.how2centos.com/fight-spam-with-assp-anti-spam-smtp-proxy-on-centos-5-4/

http://www.how2centos.com/assp-anti-spam-smtp-proxy-on-centos-5-4-part-2/

Post-Installation

ASSP out of the box is pretty good but I notice that some of the email came out delayed for few minutes, usually around 4 to 10 minutes, sometimes it can be up to 2 hours! So, I took my time to play around the settings to reduce the mail delays. I have also done some hardening on the ASSP server as well as the email server (btw, my fren is using Exchange 2010 as the email server) to improve security on both end.

Verdict

After using ASSP for 6 months now, I’m quite surprise with the effectiveness of ASSP, with around 30 users and about 2000 email received a day, the success rate I would say around 95% to 98%  accuracy. In term of server performance, with that kind of load, my ASSP server is using 3% at peak and 140MB of memory usage and 3GB disk storage (including OS and softwares).

Being it an open source, I only spend about below USD 100 a year for the VPS and spend sometime to play with it. It is definitely a great alternatives for small and medium businesses/organizations which hosted their own email. I haven’t had the opportunity to test it in an enterprise environment, so I can’t be sure whats the performance like and the success rate.

If anyone is interested in setting up one and need help with it, you can contact me at lokman (at) infinitelogix (dot) com (dot) my

 

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