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Slicing Up Spam Email With BladeSystem Servers

Servers from Hewlett-Packard helped one company tackle spam.

Last summer Michael Wilczak was swimming in spam email, at the rate of 25 million messages per day. It was spam that Infocrossing Inc. inherited when it acquired MailWatch, an email security service.

Wilczak is vice president of managed security at Infocrossing, a $150 million Leonia, N.J., outsourcing provider with a client list that includes TRW Inc. and Loews Corp. Wilczak's job was to decide how to migrate three MailWatch data centers into three U.S. Infocrossing locations, and how to standardize a companywide system running on legacy Dell and Compaq hardware. "I had two goals: speed and scalability," he says.

In lab tests, Hewlett-Packard Co. BladeSystem servers outperformed Dell Inc. boxes, and Wilczak was sold on the blade's dual-process design. Infocrossing then spent 60 days and $400,000 to deploy HP servers in a single data center, using Cisco routers and F5 Networks load balancers -- but not without a go-live glitch.

"We had a DNS server that was outside the firewall," Wilczak says. "When we went live -- and pushed 25 million messages through -- the firewall became congested." Once the server was moved inside the firewall, the project was given a companywide green light. Wilczak got $2 million in his 2005 budget to complete it. Problem solved.

Ellen O'Brien, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is executive editor at Write to her at

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