Butler U Deploys Virtual Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway

Butler University said it has deployed the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway-Virtual Edition as a hybrid solution with the Messaging Security Gateway appliance to address anti-spam and anti-virus protection. The school has actually used the Messaging Security Gateway hardware appliance since 2004 to defend against inbound messaging threats such as spam, viruses, and denial-of-service attacks.

Most recently, the 4,400-student school added the Virtual Edition to create a mixed hardware/virtual environment. The university uses hardware appliances to scan inbound mail, while virtual appliances on the university's existing VMware infrastructure scan outbound messaging to ensure that sent messages are also free from spam content, viruses, and other malicious code. This prevents students from propagating spam and viruses and enables the university to detect botnet infections among its user base.

"When we evaluated Proofpoint four years ago, it was obvious that the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway required very little customization or ongoing administration in order to accurately block spam," said Nathan Partenheimer, systems administrator, information resources department. "Proofpoint has performed exactly as we've needed, eliminating all types of spam messages while also eliminating the need for a full-time e-mail/spam administrator."

Like most large organizations, Butler has seen overall e-mail volumes rise significantly over the years. Today the university averages one million inbound messages per day, 90 percent of which are spam. As the university's e-mail volumes have grown, its Proofpoint deployment has also expanded.

"The Proofpoint virtual appliance was extremely easy to deploy and provides the same high-level of spam and virus protection as Proofpoint's hardware appliance," said Partenheimer. "With the Proofpoint virtual appliance in place we can easily and cost-effectively scale to manage spikes in inbound or outbound e-mail, as new virtual appliances can be provisioned in minutes to address our changing e-mail requirements."

All policy management and administration tasks for both the hardware and virtual appliance are controlled via a Web-based administration console. The university also uses Proofpoint's end-user digest feature, allowing students, faculty, and administration to personally manage e-mail quarantines and adjust individual levels of anti-spam protection as desired.

Other Proofpoint higher ed customers include Hofstra University in Long Island and University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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