Migration guide

How to migrate to SpamCheetah from some other solution

Introduction

Salient features/differences

Main concepts

Main concepts of SpamCheetah

Mailbot to configure

Mailbot automation

Configuration details

How to configure ?

Deployment options

4 ways to use SpamCheetah

Web panel

Using web interface

Where to go from here

Switching to SpamCheetah

Intro to SpamCheetah

SpamCheetah is a good choice for spam control since it is built ground up using network level spam control techniques like greylisting, blacklisting, greytrapping and uses powerful backends like ClamAV , rspamd and friends.

In addition it does SURBL tests, malware scanning and leverages several open source technologies and uses any software backend with liberal licensing to achieve its goals.

If you are changing over from a pricey tightly integrated commercial solution then SpamCheetah must come across as being richly documented, explained and totally targeted to MSPs like you.

Some commercial offerings resort to corporate style practices that are not technical merit driven. SpamCheetah attempts instead to focus purely on technical merit alone. And using our bug tracking facility anyone can file a bug and the information is free for all to see. Thereby already lot of open source philosophy and attitude must be evident in our approach to spam control.

Here is the live stats menu accessible from top right side of web panel.

top menu

Here is a sample live stats page that updates every few seconds.

Live stats gif

Here is a sample screenshot, the login page.

Login page

Our goal is to make a corporate product a technical affair and not bother you with pesky licensing, terms and conditions that nobody understands and generally confuse everyone concerned. Instead our plan is to be transparent, helpful and improve our techniques at controlling unwanted email. That is it.

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Main concepts

SpamCheetah is built around greylisting. The focus is usually on stopping unwanted mail at gateway level even before the SMTP DATA command is sent on the wire. This usually implies heavy bandwidth savings and other advantages besides hugely improved spam control performance.

The idea being that in situations where greylisting cannot be used SpamCheetah still does its job really well using other methods to detect spammy content. All the standard email security product techniques like RBL/DNSBL checks, SPF,DKIM checks and such are performed at wire speed.

The most important aspect of SpamCheetah as compared to the competition is our rich documentation and technical transparency . We go to great lengths to explain how do our job and you can make your own judgement about whether to trust us with your network.

The methods of spam control may perhaps be similar to how others do it, be is a physical appliance or cloud hosted service but we document everything thoroughly and our support documents are lot more detailed than usual.

Here is the dashboard screen that shows the list of mail originating nations. The top 10 nations are tabulated and mail counts displayed live.

Dashboard page

Our web interface is rich with lot of metrics and tools and what not. If you find something missing that the competition offers do let us know and we can consider.

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Mailbot feature

In addition to providing the web interface to monitor and manage the product we also give a mailbot functionality similar to the vacation auto responder to issue commands to the product to do things like:

This feature is freshly launched in market. Over time if there is sufficient interest we plan to add lot more features. Since this gives instant feedback and avoids the need to access the browser, it could be very convenient to get your job done in case you are a mail person.

Here is the screen to configure the mailbot password. After this you must configure your mail client to do SMTP auth. More details here.

Profile setting

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How to configure

There are totally 5 tabs/screens where you primarily configure SpamCheetah. You can go back to it later to change values but the deployment is dependent on successful validation of these forms.

The guides available in this website, the videos and help documents tell you what to do. And the screens themselves are quite user friendly built on similar lines to what the competition offers. So things should be fairly familiar to the experienced sys admin. Here are the screens for your reference.

Standard network configure tab Heavyduty network configure tab Mail actions tab Mail engine tab Pattern matching tab Quarantine config tab

As you can see above only the network configuration tab changes between Standard edition and Heavyduty edition. All other screens are identical.

Licensing works differently of course. The internal operation however is completely different between the two. The spam control and virus scanning engines do not change between editions. The heavyduty edition adds a network hop to SMTP but that is not perceived by users. Nor does that cause a delay either.

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Possibilities of deployment

Due to SpamCheetah being tailored to the MSP marketplace we realized the need for catering to operators with multiple mail servers as well as those with a single mail server. And there is also the possibility of cloud hosted and on premises/private cloud deployment.

To help you use SpamCheetah in a manner that suits your circumstances best, we offer plans to suit your convenience. That leads to 4 possibilities to deploy. You can look at our price calculator page to know the difference in price between the 2 alternatives.

The cloud hosted edition is only slightly expensive to account for the hosting expenses we incur. However the management is your responsibility and you are expected to use the web interface for management/monitoring.

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How to use web interface

The web interface is very rich with a huge repertoire of features. Once you spend an hour or so with it, you can find your way around it. Here are showcase some of the screens to whet your appetite.

The ability to manage and monitor the product is only a small part of what the web interface does. It is a complete 360 degree view of the product whereby you can not only glean information but also control things at every level starting from configuration, reporting to graphing/analytics.

The monitoring aspects of the product include logging in which we can look at SMTP handshake logs, then the greylist queue entries, the worldwide distribution of mail originating countries and lots more.

The ability to monitor licensing usage, metrics like attachments, mail flow metrics like latency exist as well.

Graphs overview Mail periodic area chart Latency plots logs maintenance tools

Note that there is no inline documentation in the web interface. All the documents are available on this website only. There are video tutorials too.

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Where to go from here?

The decision to test ride our product using the 30 day trial appliance must be taken by you based on what you find in this page. The migration away from existing technology to SpamCheetah experience should appear meaningful.

The way SpamCheetah works is fundamentally different from other products but the features it offers are very similar. So it is upto you whether you prefer the status quo or something fresh.

SpamCheetah is not the only game in town but we have had no complaints to far.

Sundar Sharma, GNSA

E-mail spam was always a problem for us and after evaluating several third party products we chanced upon SpamCheetah. We have successfully run this product in our premises for over 3 years. The support is good but we hardly ever call them as most of the time the product just runs.

Narasimha Rao, Khazana jewelley

Live web interface of SpamCheetah