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Libra ESVA 2.0 review

Libra ESVA combines an impressive arsenal of anti-spam measures in a VMware virtual appliance. It's surprisingly inexpensive too, but how does it perform in our live lab tests? Read on to find out.

Initial setup starts by pointing a web browser at the appliance's default IP address and running through a quick setup wizard. After entering network details, you provide information about your company and email server, create a certificate and you're done.

The main web console shows how much work Libra has put into development of the GUI as it provides a lot of useful information. Spam statistics for the current week are shown in a graph at the top and valuable information about the VM swap file status and disk usage is provided alongside it.

A table below shows the day's activity whilst next to it is a big pie chart providing a breakdown of clean messages, spam and infections. You can also browse the last fifteen messages received and these are all colour coded showing clearly how they were classified by ESVA.

Along with an intuitive web interface, Libra has integrated many new features into ESVA which can all be configured without any knowledge of Linux. The local real time block list (RBL) is unusual as this is created by ESVA using data from its own anti-spam engine for the past day. Any IP address that it thinks is sending too much spam during this period will be automatically blocked.

Libra has added support for Active Directory and Exchange and only direct LDAP server queries are made by the appliance so it doesn't cache passwords locally. Access controls are good as you can decide which users are allowed to administer the appliance and any authenticated user can login, view their own spam digest and release or delete stored messages.

The anti-spam engine scores suspect messages as ham or spam and the scoring thresholds for these can be modified. For each category you can decide to quarantine, block, forward, delete or bounce messages, strip out HTML content and tag their subject lines.

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