One Year with the Barracuda Spam Firewall 300

So the end of this month marks one year that we have had the Barracuda Spam Firewall 300 and we love it!  We’ve all been in the boat, you may be in it now, where you are being told and forwarded e-mails daily about the spam that your church’s staff members are receiving.  Pharmaceuticals, Viagra, or V~ag ra, etc…  What do we do? 

This is the question I was faced with several times last year.  Sure, we use Trend Micro Client/Server/Messaging which has a spam filter/blocker built in to it; and this was my answer to the problem for a while, “We have a spam filter in place and we are doing what we can to block it.”,  but it was just not doing the job.  Before I came to work at the church, I worked for The Savannah Bancorp, Inc., holding company for The Savannah Bank, Bryan Bank & Trust, and Harbourside Mortgage here in Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  I still keep in contact with my old boss, Terry, who is the VP of Information Technology at the Bank/Holding Company.  I asked him what they were using and he told me the Barracuda Spam Firewall.  He said he tried other solutions, but this was the best he had found.  So I did some research and liked what I was seeing.  Even better, Barracuda has a 30 day trial with a no questions asked, if you don’t like it, just send it back.  So, I went through the pre-approval procedures that we have set in place to purchase a big ticket item, and then ordered the trial.

Here’s our results after one year:

E-mail Stats

Click the image above.  Yes, you are reading correctly.  Out of 4,601,301 total e-mails received this year, 4,311,654 were completely blocked as definite spam.  6,382 were blocked because they contained a virus.  And so on.  This is a hardware appliance we are talking about, so all this is being done before an e-mail even reached our Exchange Server (see the load we took off of our exchange server, and the potential risk that was blocked).  Needless to say, I very rarely get complaints (possibly less than a hand full for the year) of Spam any longer.  Pretty cool…

When we first got the Barracuda, it was blocking anywhere between 22,000 – 25,000 e-mails per day.  Over the course of the year, this number dropped to blocking 10,000 – 13,000 e-mails per day on average.

Here’s a screen shot from today…

Daily Stats

In my next post, I’ll go into detail about what is a Barracuda Spam Firewall, how it works, and why we like it so much.

A great Christmas…

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.  We had a really great Christmas.  We were up by 8:00am singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, then off to the living room to open presents.  The kids were really excited with the big train out and all the presents to open.

 Here’s what I got…

Jawbone

This is what I’ve been looking forward to.  This is the Jawbone Wireless Headset (bluetooth headset).  What was most attracting when I was doing the research for a bluetooth headset was the fact that it has a Noise Shield Technology that “eliminates most background noise from your call using military-grade audio processing technology.”  There are a few reasons why this was VERY important to me.  I drive a Jeep Wrangler that, with the top on is loud and with the top off, is REALLY loud.  If I’m doing more than 15 – 20 mph, I have to hang up with the caller because they can’t hear me and I can’t hear them.  So Christmas morning, after all the presents had been open and breakfast was over, I went for a ride down the highway, and I am glad to say that I was doing about 60 – 65 mph and I was still on the phone with my wife who could hear me great.  Not only could she hear me, but I could hear her! 

If you are looking for a really good bluetooth with superb noise reduction, I would recommend the Jawbone.  It’s not the smallest device on the market, but the technology and quality was more important to me than the size of the device.  Check out the video review:  Jawbone Review <click here>

Happy New Years!

Christmas Eve is here…

Christmas Eve is here and we are gearing up for a great Christmas.  We are going to Christmas Eve services tonight at church, and then it’s back home to start on some Christmas Eve traditions that we have.  We have a train that we put out when the kids go to bed every Christmas Eve, and then put their presents in the middle, look for pics tomorrow… 🙂 

Hope you all have a great Christmas Eve, and  Merry Christmas!

Hello World!

So tonight is December 23rd, about 11:30pm.  I’ve spent the night helping my wife build her blog, www.bettyospina.com.  Well, she built the site, I just helped get the domain name setup :). 

I originally came to this site because it was in the footer of Jason Lee’s site, so I thought I’d check it out.  We started using Blogger for Betty’s site, but I wanted to see what all was available.  I built this site to just test it out, but now I’m thinking I’ll keep it.  There are a lot of Church IT guys that have a blog, and I’ll be meeting with them next month at the SharePoint Server training (looking forward to it), so it’ll be nice to have a  blog as well…

Let’s see if I keep up with it… 🙂