4PSA Clean Server 4 – A giant step forward

A new version of 4PSA Clean Server is scheduled for September. There are many unique features built in this new version. You know that 4PSA Clean Server was the first mail antivirus for Plesk (it was released almost five years ago). Parallels also introduced some antiviruses, using engines from Dr.Web and Kaspersky. Although much more expensive than Clean Server, especially Dr.web is quite popular. There is no major difference between Clean Server and Parallels offering (well, two years ago Clean Server was considerable faster and more stable, today the difference is minimal). Clean Server still has many more features than any of them, but we felt that this was not enough for our next generation product.

One of the common problems with antiviruses (the same with antispam – yes, a new Spam Guardian 4 is also in development) is that in one massive email flow, some emails might not be scanned because the scanning engine is too busy. In order to prevent this, with Clean Server 4 we introduced a Grid scanning infrastructure. Let me explain.

Let’s say that you have a single Plesk server. You will install Clean Server on this server and it will work like previous versions. But, let’s say that you do not want your machine to be loaded by antiviruse scanning. No problem, you can get another server (a VPS might be fine) and install there the scanning engine. Then you point your Clean Server to that scanning engine. Even better, you can have multiple Plesk servers pointing to the same scanning engine, which means that a machine will be dedicated only to antivirus scanning.

Wait, that’s not all. Let’s suppose that this scanning server gets too loaded. No problem, add another scanning server and point your Plesk servers to both scanning machines. Add three, four – it does not matter. The Plesk servers will load balance scanning requests between servers in the infrastructure.

Benefits? Hard to count them all:

– It will be impossible for a hosting machine to be loaded with too many scanning requests, meaning that other services will not be affected by high loads.

– Emails can no longer pass unscanned due to QoS settings. When your scanning machine is too loaded, simply add another machine!

– Resources are much smarter spent.

– The scanning engines collect information from multiple machines, which mean that they can learn better about nasty email profiles.

This is just the most important architectural improvement in Clean Server 4. We also increased its speed by more than 200%, added more control features for end-users, improved interface, etc.

With Clean Server 4 we make a considerable jump ahead our competition. I am fully confident that this idea will be sooner or later copied. But this will take some time and guess what — we already know which one will be the next generation architecture and we started the research on it 🙂

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