Information infrastructure for research and education

Service description for SUNET E-mail filter

This service description explains the SUNET E-mail filter service. The document is intended for institutions connected to SUNET that wish to outsource their email filtering (spam, virus, phishing) needs.

In this document the following items are introduced:

  • The architecture of the service
  • The functionality
  • Pricing
  • Information regarding ordering, support and change management


  • Abbreviation/Description
  • Spam/E-mail messages send in bulk to recipients that have not requested them.
  • Virus (e-mail)/E-mail message that partly consists of an executable file with harmful intentions, that installs without authorization of the user.
  • Institution/An institution connected or to be connected to the SUNET network.
  • Realm/Domain (ie.
  • Phishing (e-mail)/E-mail message intended to scam the recipient. Primarily meant to retrieve personal information or to encourage providing credentials on fake websites.

Service description for SUNET E-mail filter


The SUNET E-mail filter service allows institutions to have all their incoming email messages filtered for viruses, phishing and spam before they arrive at their own mail servers. Filtering can imply marking of the email for example in the subject header or have to have it deleted permanently.

The institution can configure the filtering preferences and according actions for each domain and sub domain to their specific needs. The solution also allows, if permitted by the institution for end users to alter their personal filter rules.

SUNET E-mail filter is based on the CanIT Pro software from the Canadian software company Roaring Penguin Software Inc. This product consists of open-source components complemented with proprietary elements that greatly increase the effectiveness of the filtering. The most important addition is the so called RPTN (Roaring Penguin Training Network). RPTN allows that all CanIT Pro users globally exchange information regarding the detection of spam. For more information, please refer to:

Service architecture

The logical design of the service is based around a black box setup as shown below:

Click to enlarge picture

SUNET E-mail filter is a centralized service that gives a scaling advantage. Through this approach, connected institutions do not have to purchase and maintain spam-, phishing- and virus filtering applications individually. This saves resources, knowledge, personnel and equipment with regards to mail filtering.

SUNET E-mail filter is a powerful, flexible and robust solution:

  • The service is built on powerful and easily scalable hardware.
  • The service is designed with geographical redundancy: Two disperse locations in the SUNET network; contain identical configurations with sufficient resources to allow for the failure of any other node without service degradation. The hardware resources can be easily scaled to match the amount of e-mail messages.

The design architecture of the SUNET implementation provided by NORDUnet can be seen in the below picture.

Click to enlarge picture


The filtering preferences of the service can be configured through a web interface. For basic filtering, the following options are available:
  • Spam/Virus/Phishing labeling (through subject header or X-header) prior to delivery at the institutions own mail servers.
  • Cancel delivery by means of permanent deletion of the email (by the SUNET E-mail filter).

N.B. There is no ‘quarantine mailbox´ option that is present in various other anti-spam solutions.

The service allows for different configurable options that influence the filtering behavior. Amongst these are: aggressiveness, black & white listing for senders, spam training through means of clickable links and other specific items. The user can optionally add aliases within the realm, so that these are covered by the same filtering preferences.

Authentication and authorization for end-users and administrators is available through the SUNET federation service using SWAMID.

SUNET E-mail filter is intended for all institutions connected to the SUNET network, that wish to have their email for one or multiple of their (sub)domains, checked/filtered by SUNET for unwanted messages. This includes filtering for spam, phishing and viruses before the email reaches the institutions own e-mail infrastructure. The SUNET E-mailfilter is available for both IPv4 and IPv6.

Separate administrator and user guides are available at the SUNET website.


The SUNET E-mail filter service is exclusive for institutions connected to the SUNET network. Starting January first 2011 the pricing levels have been set according to the below table.

Non-educational institutions e.g. museums will be charged as extra small.  

Pricelist E-mail filter
Size Employees Price
eXtraLarge >4000 SEK 180.000
Large >2000 SEK 120.000
Medium >500 SEK 75.000
Small <500 SEK 40.000
eXtraSmall <100 SEK 30.000

Ordering, support and failures

  • For inquiries regarding ordering or change to the SUNET E-mail filter service, the institution can contact SUNET.
  • In case of technical failure or Support requirements, the authorized person(s) at the institution can contact the NOC.

The following includes the contact details:
Inquiries regarding contracts, ordering, changes or billing:
Hans Wallberg

  • Phone: +46 (0)90-786 56 45
  • Email:

Eva Stensköld

  • Phone: +46 (0)8-546 44 334
  • Email:

Technical inquiries:
Börje Josefsson

  • Phone: +46 (0)90-20 59 123
  • Email:

System Support is available during business hours Monday-Friday via the NORDUnet NOC by phone or email:

  • Phone: +46(0)8 20 78 60
  • Email:

Fault reporting can be made 24/7 to the NORDUnet NOC by phone or email:

  • Phone: +46(0)8 20 78 60
  • Email:
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