What do the values in the daily statistics report mean?

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Each day my server generates an email with some information about messages that have been sent and received:

Messages processed by SMTP in the 24 hours up to 00:00:00 Mon,   25 Sep 2006

Incoming Messages: 00000000000000000091
Outgoing Messages: 00000000000000000010

Messages virus scanned: 00000000000000000082
Messages containing viruses found: 00000000000000000000

Messages GMS Anti-Spam checked: 00000000000000000531
Messages rejected by GMS Anti-Spam: 00000000000000000396

Why is it that the values in this appear to not match up? For example, why is messages spam checked higher than incoming messages?


What can make this a little confusing is that the term “messages” is used a loosely – and could actually relate to a connection where a message is not transmitted.

An explanation of each item in the report follows:

Incoming messages: This number is incremented for every message that is delivered to a user. If for example an incoming email arrives and is addressed to an alias of 5 accounts, although technically only one message was received, the counter will increment by 5.

Outgoing messages: this number is incremented when SMTP processes a non local RCPT and writes that message to the out queue.

Messages Virus scanned: This counter will increment differnently depending on what AV settings you have. Because AV can be turned on and off on a system/domain/user level basis, it means that an AV scan might be run once per MAIL and RCPT command, or only once for an entire message. Every scan will increment this counter once, regardless of whether the mail is accepted.

Messages Containing Viruses found: This will incremement once for each virus scan that results in a rejection. Please note that this would also mean that the “incoming messages” coutner will not increment. On a system which processes more viruses than real emails, it would mean that this figure will be higher than the “incoming messages” figure.

Messages GMS Anti-Spam checked: This will increment once every time an anti-spam check is run on a connection. So for example, if you have RBL checks enabled, every connection to your server would increment this figure. The result being that this figure will be much higher than the “incoming messages” figure. If that connection sends one email, the counter will increment once. If the server issues


The counter will incremement twice.

Messages rejected by GMS Anti-Spam: This counter is incremented once for ANY rejection that takes place during the SMTP protocol. This will include RBL, identity, AI and content checks. Please note that if you have RBL enabled, but have the content check action set to deliver to user quarantine, or accept and discard, it will mean that RBL rejections will increment this counter, but content checks will not. Basically, only messages that actively result in a 4xx or 5xx error in SMTP will add to this value.

As you can see, the combination of these factors will mean that on any system the values could be totally different, depending on the settings for each of the AV and AS options.

Keywords:Stats statistics messages

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