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IMF Tune - Bringing Back the Exchange Connection Filter
IMF Tune - Bringing Back the Exchange Connection Filter

Copying the Sender Auto-Whitelist across Servers

The IMF Tune Sender Auto-Whitelist (AWL) maintains a list of senders that are gathered automatically. Over time the list can grow to include thousands of sender addresses. Effectively it can whitelist most legitimate emails greatly reducing the risk of false positives.

When moving IMF Tune to a new server or when deploying a second IMF Tune installation, we are often asked: How do I copy the AWL database to the new installation?

The IMF Tune Backup/Restore Wizard does not copy the AWL database. This tool only works against the settings manually set at the configuration interface. A backup/restore cycle will copy the AWL settings visible at the configuration, but won't copy the sender address entries.

Unlike other whitelists (that are populated manually) the AWL is largely invisible. The configuration provides list management settings but does not show the list entries themselves.

Note: Viewing the list entries is possible with the help of the MangeAWL command line tool.


The AWL Database

Copying the sender AWL is possible, but we have to do this manually.

It is important to be cautious, keeping in mind that IMF Tune is working on the list, adding/removing senders as necessary. We must avoid interfering with IMF Tune. We must also be aware of the limitations of the manual copy process.

IMF Tune saves AWL sender addresses in batches. The frequency of these write operations depend on the number of new addresses being discovered. When the email traffic is high, the batch fills up quickly triggering AWL database updates. When few emails are flowing sender batches take longer to build up, slowing down the updates. With extremely low email traffic a sender address could at worst take up to 24 hours to be written to the AWL database.

AWL keeps the list of senders at the file:
<IMF Tune>\configV<n>\lists\wdbsenderawl.dat

<n> here is the major IMF Tune product version. So in IMF Tune v7.x <n> is 7.

This is where sender batches end up. Here we find all the AWL addresses except for those in the last batch waiting to be written. This is pretty good considering that the AWL will contain a history of sender addresses spanning months.


Copying the AWL Database

From the above discussion we know that it is best to perform this operation after hours when the email traffic is low.

This procedure works when transferring the AWL database across IMF Tune installations running the same IMF Tune versions.

This procedure also works when transferring the database between IMF Tune v6.x and IMF Tune v7.0/v7.1 (in any direction). Check with WinDeveloper Support for any other version combinations.

  1. Go to the source machine from where the AWL database is to be copied. Copy the file:
    <IMF Tune>\configV<n>\lists\wdbsenderawl.dat

    <n> here is the major IMF Tune product version. So in IMF Tune v7.x <n> is 7.

    Note: Even if IMF Tune was uninstalled you should be able to find this file unless the IMF Tune directory was deleted manually.

  2. At the destination machine close the IMF Tune configuration and stop the following services (in this order):
    Microsoft Exchange Transport Service
    IMF Tune Engine
    IMF Tune Attendant

  3. Copy wdbsenderawl.dat to the destination machine (overwriting the current file if present):
    <IMF Tune>\configV<n>\lists\

  4. Open the IMF Tune configuration at the destination machine (ignore the warning saying the IMF Tune Attendant is not running).

  5. Go to the Auto-Whitelist Senders category. If not set, select Enable Sender Auto-Whitelisting.

    You may also want to review other AWL settings. More details on these options at the IMF Tune Server Manual.

  6. Close the configuration and save changes.

  7. Start the services:
    Microsoft Exchange Transport Service
    IMF Tune Engine
    IMF Tune Attendant


Version Information

This information applies to IMF Tune v7.1 build number If IMF Tune is already installed you can verify the current build number from the configuration interface under the Miscellaneous category.


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