DiscountASP.NET focuses on web hosting for developers and more advanced users. With multiple brands under the DiscountASP.NET umbrella, the company hosts 70,000+ domains, and sends more than 1.5 million email messages per day.
In 2013, many of DiscountASP.NET’s IP addresses were blocklisted by major DNS blocklists (DNSBLs), including Spamhaus, SpamCop, and large email receivers like Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo. “The Yahoo! rejections caused a tidal wave of complaints,” said Javier Ortega, System Administrator at DiscountASP.NET. “We had to act quickly to prevent customers from leaving our service.”
Ortega investigated numerous potential solutions, eventually settling on MailChannels for its combination of transparent SMTP filtering, high performance, and compromised account detection. “The MailChannels solution just completely solved the problem, and the transparent operation meant customers didn’t have to change anything about their systems,” said Ortega. “The extreme scalability means we never have to worry about adding hardware or dealing with outages due to extremely abusive spammers in our network.”
Javier looked at an appliance-based solution, but the “price point was too high.” He also knew of a cloud-based solution, but it couldn’t be operated transparently and would have required DiscountASP.NET customers to make changes to their server environment — something that Ortega viewed as a near impossibility.
What distinguished MailChannels was its ability to “process such large volumes of email and automatically separate the traffic through different classes of IP addresses: one for good senders, one for suspicious senders, and one for bad senders.” Another appealing aspect was that MailChannels Transparent Filtering software is based on Linux and can be virtualized.
“Whenever we were listed, customers would see all these bounces. That would happen twice a week. The result is that customers began hosting email, or their entire domain somewhere else.”
“This is a big problem for web hosting industry. We can’t control if a customer’s computer gets compromised. In that sense, we’re relegated to being reactive, as opposed to proactive.”
Resolving blocklisting issues was a very manual and time- consuming process. “We would have to change the IP address on the server itself, change the DNS and wait for it to refresh – which could take anywhere from an hour to 24 hours. It was a more involved process, that we knew was a temporary ‘Band-Aid’ rather than a real solution. It would work for a time, then we would have to do it all over again to keep mail owing.”
“We process 1.5 million messages per day across 15-20 mail servers and MailChannels handles the load no problem. Now we depend on this little box to do all that for us. The Software is very responsive and very fast.”
“Prior to deploying MailChannels, it was the Wild West. Spammers were getting us blocklisted once or twice a week. I used to spend 2-3 hours every morning, dealing with IP blocklisting issues.”
“I have never seen an outbound spam filter as smooth as MailChannels.”
“It’s very automatic, very easy. MailChannels became the centralized place to check and find out all the compromised accounts quickly. It makes it easy for the abuse department.”
“We’ve seen a big cut down on RBL listings. Today, it’s sort of rare for IP addresses to be blocklisted. MailChannels has helped out a lot. It’s a more streamlined process when it comes to email abuse.”
“Spammers either drop off or we’re alerted when there’s suspicious activity with an account. MailChannels has improved
our customer satisfaction and standing on SenderBase.”
“MailChannels provided the capabilities we need. We can filter outbound traffic and get a clear idea of what exactly gets out.”
“As an email admin, the most important thing is logging. Resolving support tickets by being able to pull up a specific email delivery and trace its origins is very helpful.”
“Today, we have a pretty outstanding reputation on SenderBase. We have MailChannels’ IP pooling feature enabled that lets us automatically rotate through IP addresses. Good senders go out through the cleanest IP addresses, while suspicious senders are put on probation. Even the bad IP pools where we route suspicious email through has a pretty good reputation! MailChannels catches a lot of spam and not a lot of false positives.”