Product Reviews

What You Don’t Know…

Curtail e-mail abuse with MailAnalyzer 3.0.

Over the last few years, e-mail has become just as important, if not more so, to businesses as the telephone. Unfortunately, with the increasing popularity of e-mail comes the potential for abuse. Activities such as spamming, sending and receiving jokes and graphics, and communicating with friends and relatives can use up valuable resources. Even if a company has stringent e-mail policies in place, there’s generally not an easy way to enforce these policies.

eIQnetworks’ MailAnalyzer 3.0 automates the monitoring and reporting of e-mail usage by analyzing logs produced by the e-mail server and presenting the information in a clear, succinct fashion. MailAnalyzer works with a variety of e-mail servers, including Microsoft Exchange versions 5.5 through 2000; Lotus Domino versions 5.0 through 6.0; and almost any version of Sendmail, regardless of platform.

MailAnalyzer can be installed on a mail server or any PC running Windows NT/ 2000/XP. It requires a Web server to present its reports. While eIQnetworks states that MailAnalyzer is able to connect to an e-mail server via either LDAP or MAPI, I was unable to connect to my Exchange 2000 Server in an Active Directory domain via LDAP. However, connecting via MAPI worked fine.

MailAnalyzer uses a browser-based interface to configure, schedule and view reports and graphs of various metrics associated with e-mail servers. These include, but aren’t limited to, usage by an individual and/or department or organization; distribution list use; sending and receiving to various Internet domains; and various mailbox and public folder statistics, including size and message count. This type of information allows you to spot typical problems such as external domains that are directing spam at your servers; internal users using your servers to send out spam; and users sending or receiving large attachments such as movie files, MP3s or pictures.

MailAnalyzer comes with a large number of predefined reports to get you up to speed quickly. These reports can be output in a variety of formats, including HTML, Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF and plain text. MailAnalyzer allows you to schedule reports to run unattended and then distribute them to a file share, FTP site or via e-mail.

However, the real power of the product is the ability to drill down on specific information by creating your own custom reports. This is performed in MailAnalyzer by creating a task, via a wizard, that guides you through selecting the information you want to see and applying filters to get what you need.

MailAnalyzer
MailAnalyzer allows you to identify your top e-mail users and abusers. (Click image to view larger version.)

I like MailAnalyzer. The predefined reports are probably sufficient for most organizations, and the flexibility in designing custom reports makes this a powerful tool for enforcing e-mail policies.

About the Author

As a senior consultant Lee Scales, MCSE, CCA, has worked extensively with Windows NT/2000, Exchange and BackOffice. His specialty is designing Win2K infrastructures.

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