Spamassassin is slow - any tips or good commercial alternative?

Julian Field MailScanner at
Sat Aug 2 14:04:01 IST 2008

Richard Lynch wrote:
> Julian Field wrote:
>> Rob Poe wrote:
>>>>>> The concern is that I am eventually looking to have over 10,000
>>>>>> users, so will be receiving, and then sending, multiple emails per
>>>>>> second.
>>>>>> Even now, with only 1,500 users, people have started reporting "Too
>>>>> many concurrent SMTP connections; Please try again later"
>>>> Thank you James - this will be very helpful I suspect.
>>>> We also are using Exim as the MTA, so any specific config advice 
>>>> for Exim would also be greatly appreciated :)
>>>> BTW we are using one server (Pentium 4, 2.4GHz, 1GB RAM), currently 
>>>> have 1500 active paid users,
>>>>  and am expecting up to 10,000-15,000 active paid users in the 
>>>> future (say, 1 or 2 years from now).
>>> I'd expect that only ONE P4 2.4 1g isn't enough ... If it were my 
>>> configuration and I had that many users, I'd probably go more into 
>>> the Core2/Xeon/some other kind of multi-core or multi processor 
>>> setup, and go with at least 4 gigs of ram, making sure you also 
>>> focus on using FAST drives (10k SAS raid0+1)
>> Get an evaluation licence for BarricadeMX from Fort Systems 
>> ( This is a *very* good anti-spam system that costs less 
>> than any of the other decent commercial alternatives. Even an old 
>> server should be able to handle near 1 million SMTP connections per 
>> day without any difficulty. Put MailScanner and SpamAssassin behind 
>> it to clean up what it misses and you have a *superb* system for very 
>> little money.
>> They do 30 day eval licences for free so you can try it out. It's 
>> very quick to deploy and test, and they will happily help you with 
>> that, as will I.
>> Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
>> Jules
> I can give a strong "seconded" to this suggestion.   Take a look in 
> the archives at my post on 7/23/2007 for a testament of our 
> experiences.  That was version 1.0, they are up to version 2.1 now.  
> It's a fine product with excellent support.
> My 2c,
And one more comment from my users. After I deployed BarricadeMX in 
addition to my MailScanner setup, my users just reported that "all of a 
sudden, what little spam there was just stopped, completely". I now 
reject about 96% of incoming mail, and I have some very idle MXs as 
BarricadeMX handles about 94% of the incoming mail without ever letting 
it in the front door.

If you want more references from some of my users, just ask and I'll 
pick random people for comments. They like it!


Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
Buy the MailScanner book at

MailScanner customisation, or any advanced system administration help?
Contact me at Jules at Jules.FM

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