Secret Diaries…..

whats behind the wrapper?

Browsing Posts tagged spam filter

Yes the old saying ‘its what you do with that counts’ can be applied to many things, particularly in .  Thanks to bare metal hypervisors its now possible to run your entire infrastructure on a much smaller collection of hardware than was previously necessary.  Mobile phones can now perform many of the functions which previously required a fully fledged PC.  The relentless march of technology is focussed on power efficient processing.

All this means very little to me at the moment unfortunately because buried under a pile of (Unsolicited or Useless Bloody Email depending on your mindset) more commonly known as SPAM.  Recent statistics put the level of spam currently being pumped out at somewhere around 80% of email traffic, 80% of all email currently flying around the net is totally useless and bloody annoying.  My companies current approach to this massive mountain of crap is…..

…. to place the most weakass, difficult to manage, leaky as all hell between the outside world and our mailserver.

On most days we may as well turn the damn thing off.

I have made my case for a appliance, a dedicated machine with 24 hour support and a nice easy to use web interface and I’ve been ignored, so yesterday I put some figures together.  I’ve lost the link now but somewhere on http://www.wikipedia.org/ someone gave information from a 2001 study which put the of a to the recipient at somewhere around $0.10 (7p) so with this figure in mind I ran through the stats I had gathered and worked out a rough per year to my company of the amount of spam which currently makes past our and has to be dealt with by a member of staff.  Even I was surprised by the answer:

£31000

31 grand wasted because the company won’t spend £3/4000 on a spam appliance that actually works.

The to those sending out is probably about 10p.

I’ve made my case (again) and I’ll see whether a) anything actually happens and b) I get any credit for (like perhaps some of that 31 grand being added to my pay packet).

Next I’ll see if I can find a good enough business reason for the company to buy my new home PC.

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The last time you heard from me was back in March when I’d just passed the CompTIA A+ Essentials exam, in the months since I’ve added the A+ exam to the collection making me officially CompTIA A+ certified an I’m working hard on the Network+ (using the new 2009 objectives so woohoo! no in depth knowledge of Token Ring required!).

Apart from that I’m expanding my programming skill set to further aid with projects here at work (namely our shiny new intranet) and otherwise expanding my knowledge.  I’ve also become an AMBCS (Associate Member of the British Computer Society in case you didn’t know) so some nice new letters after my name :)

What else do I have to say after 5 months absence?

I’ve become increasingly frustrated by peoples fire and forget attitude to emails, a huge number of users around the globe appear to be under the impression that emails are totally fail safe, I’m here to tell you this is a long way from the truth.  Between your mail server and that of your recipient there’s a thousand and one different things which can stop your email getting through, quite apart from spam filters and addresses typos every email you send has to pass through a number of different points along its route any of which can fail and stop your email in its tracks.

Lets illustrate the point a little, between my companies offices and the hosting centre where our website sits there are 8 ‘hops’ each hop is a router which handles passing information on to the next step along the route to the destination server.  If any of these hops goes down then the route has to be renegoitiated to get round the break.  This 8 hop route covers a distance of all of about 30 miles by the way.

So lets look at the relative separation between hotmails servers and our mail server here, a much greater geographical distance with even more points of failure.  You see, its a miracle your emails arrive anywhere you actually intend them to.  So the next time someone says no when you ask if they received your email, think before you reply because its entirely likely the reason didn’t is nothing to do with either of you and is actually because of a faulty step along the way.

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