What are the considerations of installing Email Security Software?

After migrating to Exchange, a team member and I asked ourselves about the strategized about the next piece of this puzzle.  Should we install email security software on the Exchange Server or a separate server?  That is the question we are trying to determine as IT administrators.  In researching the best possible solution we found that most IT administrators are hesitant to install third party software right on the Exchange server.  With that in mind some questions do arise as to installing a third -party software directly on the Exchange Server.

  1. Will it be cost effective?
  2. How will it affect the Server overall?
  3. How will this affect the performance of delivery time of mail?
  4. Will it be easier to manage on just one server?

First what would be the cost?  Will it be cost effective to have it installed on the same server or on a separate hardware?  Depending on your budget and need, it may be more productive to have it installed on the same server.  You minimize the cost of purchasing more hardware.  That in itself looked very attractive to us.   With our budget we decided to install it directly onto the Exchange server.  Based on your budget and overall need, this may not work for you or your environment but for us it was the best solution.

Next, we need to determine the overall performance of the server.  Will it bring down the server frequently?  You want to have reliable software that can interact with Exchange. You do not want a system that is affected by what the software does or needs to do in order to secure your environment.

How will it affect the performance of email delivery?  Will it take longer since it has to check each email?  How much processing power will be used and taken away from the routing of mail?  Having it installed on the same server means more immediate defence that helps to protect the users.

The final point to look at is ease of maintenance. You do not want to have to spend your entire day maintaining the software.  There are many to choose from but you want one that is easy to use and that is transparent to the users.

So you have to ask yourself, to have or not to have email security software installed directly onto your Exchange Server? At the end of the day you must find software that meets your requirement and makes you feel comfortable about having it installed, whether directly on the server, or not.

Written by Carl E. Reid

Carl E. Reid

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