By Nick Patience Mirapoint Inc is moving beyond turnkey email servers and has adapted its architecture to produce machines for message routing and access. Today the company announces its first non-email product, the internet messaging, routing and content filtering appliance. Its based on the same Intel Pentium II box as the Mirapoint mail servers. The […]
By Nick Patience
Mirapoint Inc is moving beyond turnkey email servers and has adapted its architecture to produce machines for message routing and access. Today the company announces its first non-email product, the internet messaging, routing and content filtering appliance. Its based on the same Intel Pentium II box as the Mirapoint mail servers.
The company believes it is preferable for corporations and services providers to separate out the routing, storage and access to messages for scaling and security reasons. It now has products for all three functions because the new box can serve as either a proxy server or a router. The three-tier approach enables companies to scale horizontally says Andrew Lochard, director of product marketing, so if a company increases the number of users it has, but the number of messages received and sent does not increase in proportion, the company can add more proxy servers. But if it’s the other way round, more routing boxes can be added.
Mirapoint has licensed anti-virus software from Trend Micro Inc for the new boxes and it scans both inbound and outbound messages. The first version of the router, which ships in the third week of November has basic anti-spam technology that enables the administrator to block IP addresses and domains, but Mirapoint is talking to various filtering software companies, including Trend, Brightmail, Elron and others about licensing software that will be included in the next version, due in the first quarter of 2000.
The main difference between this router/proxy server and the email server is the software, which sits atop Mirapoint’s operating system, which is a tweaked version of BSD Unix with things like shell access removed for better security. The boxes are managed through Mirapoint’s management APIs. The router, like the POP3/IMAP mail server is compatible with Sendmail’s alias files and supports LDAP. Indeed, LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is crucial to Mirapoint’s business, because it enables messages to be stored in a directory, rather than having to deal with alias files from various mail systems. Mirapoint positions the product as a turnkey alternative to Sendmail which, until Sendmail Pro was released was notoriously hard to install and configure, and some maintain that it still is.
The company intends to develop slimmer versions of the router/proxy server to better suit the needs of service providers. Right now the box, which runs off a 400 MHz Pentium II takes up three u’s, but Lochard says the company will get that down to two and eventually one ‘u.’ The router/proxy has a list price of $27,425 and does not have a combined letter/number moniker like the email servers.