RealTime IT News

AppRiver to Shield E-Mail From Dennis

Anti-spam and anti-virus filtering service AppRiver is taking some of the menace from Hurricane Dennis with an offer to protect e-mails in the event of a network crash, officials said Friday.

The free service is available to any organization with their own Internet domain name in the Southeast U.S. that feels the hurricane's wrath might jeopardize their e-mail operations. The emergency e-mail service protection will run until the organization is comfortable resuming its e-mail operations without a safety net.

AppRiver officials note the hurricane is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as early as Sunday.

The company said it decided to extend the service to companies in Dennis path after talking with its clients in Florida. The clients expressed relief at not having to worry about lost e-mails during the crisis.

"Every time we can re-route their mail or queue it for them, it seems to take a load off their shoulders and they say, 'That's one thing we don't have to worry about,'" said Joel Smith, AppRiver CTO, in a statement.

The sign-up process, he said, takes about 10 minutes. The network administrator will point the organization's MX record to one of AppRiver data center servers. E-mails addressed to that organization will then go through AppRiver first, where an in-house program determines the organization's e-mail server status before forwarding the message.

If there's no response, AppRiver will queue the e-mail message in one of AppRiver three data centers in Texas, Virginia and London. Organizations can then elect to have AppRiver hold the e-mails until their server is restored, route it to a secondary router or view the messages through a Web mail service.

AppRiver went through the same experience themselves last September during Hurricane Ivan, which took out their offices in Gulf Breeze, Fla., for a month. Company employees were able to conduct business from home during the cleanup process, and read their e-mails with no interruption in service.

Smith said the company has already signed up 12 organizations for the free service, mainly sheriffs offices and emergency management teams. There's room for plenty more, with its three data centers able to process millions of e-mail messages an hour.

"We can definitely handle whatever comes our way," he said, "and we can bring servers in on the fly as well."

Smith said the feedback so far has been so favorable the company is looking into providing the service as a matter of policy for any disaster that might impede e-mail flow.

Interested organizations can sign up for the emergency e-mail protection service here.