GFI MailEssentials 12 – more problems plauge this product

August 3, 2008 · 3 comments

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While we continue to investigate for a replacement technology, I have found yet another disturbing problem with MailEssentials.  It turns out, that under certain circumstances we have yet to identify, that the product will report that it is blocking an E-mail message, but it will still deliver that message to the user.

We changed all of the modules to create a log file of their actions so that we could see what the product “thought” it was doing.  On different servers handling different domains, the results were consistent.  Every module at one point or another reported that it was taking the appropriate action (delete, send to Junk E-mail, send to another address, etc.), yet it was actually delivering the message to the user’s inbox.  It seems to take some time (3+ days) before this occurs on a fresh reboot of the server.  However, it has been consistent.  After the reboot, things appear to go back to normal until the next time.

We are convinced more now than ever that this product has taken a serious step backwards in development and effectiveness.  While we were strong advocates of this product in years past, it is clear that this should not be deployed in any production environment, no matter how small.

Article by Steve Van Domelen

Steve has written 47 awesome articles.

  • Oh, Thanks! Really funny. keep working!

  • G Oliver

    I can’t comment about MailEssentials 12, but they have just released v.14 and it’s been great. So perhaps they took note of the problems that v.12 had and amended them? Whatever the case may be, it seems like they’re back on track so I think it does deserve a recommendation.

  • steve

    Hello G.Oliver and thanks for your comments. As you said, the new v.14 is out and they have added their new SpamRazer. Not a lot of information about how it works, but clearly they are working to add new features. I agree with you that they are back on track to regain their product position, but old bugs still remain.

    I really like the new dashboard feature that they have added. It has to read its information from the database on startup, so it can take some time to get it loaded and show information. I would like to see it cache the statistics data to improve this area.

    Another awesome feature is Directory Harvesting running in the SMTP Data stream to keep unwanted junk from taking up resources. This was sorely needed and really help minimize the impact of this type of SPAM.

    However, I cannot go so far as to give them a recommendation. SPF record handling still has parsing errors; the Bayesian Analysis engine has issues with simple mail messages and subject lines for creating excessive false-positives. We also see postmaster bounces getting marked as New Sender — even if the New Sender option is disabled. They have not acknowledged corrective actions on any of the bugs we have submitted against v12 in v14 — all of them remain open to the best of our knowledge. I have not had cause to contact technical support, so I do not know if they have addressed case handling issues as well.

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