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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunbelt VIPRE Enterprise and MY story

This post was prompted by a couple of off-line inquiries into my experience with a recent VIPRE Enterprise deployment.

I should point out that this is NOT my first deployment of anti-virus software. I've rolled out McAfee, Trend, and Symantec server/client solutions.

I was probably found because of my activity on Twitter, since I was whining about it one day...

In any case, here's my story.

My client, a 3 shift manufacturing bakery with 90 clients and 5 servers, was looking to me and another consultant for suggestions for a replacement to Trend CSM, since it was expiring. It was suggested that we try VIPRE. I hadn't used it, did a bit of research, and eventually agreed to that it would be a good fit.

It was easy to roll out, and even easier to manage. One issue I immediately called SunBelt about was the Admin UI, and it's inability to list the known vulnerability list without bogging down, and eventually bringing the server to it's knees. NOT a good thing when the server is relied upon for other services, like say, ALL YOUR COMPANY FILES. Needless to say, I nor my client and his production staff were very happy with this interruption.

I was assured by the support staff that the next revision would correct that problem, and I shouldn't touch that "feature" again.

I do have to point out that all tech support staff I spoke with were American, and VERY helpful.

The next major issue was on the management server again, but this time the server spontaneously rebooted twice. No reason, other than a SunBelt module failure. I didn't bother to call them, since it only exhibited this behavior in one day, and never again. This didn't however, make me any more confident in the product.

The next fiasco was the 5018 and 5019 definition update. All you have to do is Google 'VIPRE 5018' and you'll find numerous posts. This major update caused problems with a number of my clients workstations, rendering them literally unusable. CPU utilization on workstations with 2.4ghz/1gb RAM pc's spiked to 100% for extended periods of time. My only recourse was to completely reinstall the client on 8 workstations, and disable definition updates at the management console until the weekend when production was thankfully shut down.

This issue was felt throughout the SunBelt customer base, and resulted in a letter of apology sent by the president of the company assuring us all that this would never happen again, and steps were being taken to improve internal processes.

The last straw was issues with our Terminal Server and a faulting module, again. This caused the machine to become unresponsive, and ultimately we removed the agent from this server, and deployed Trend to it.

We decided that this product was lacking in a few areas. One is QA. If a real-life environment was used as a test-bed for application and definition update tests, the 5018 issue would have never occurred. The other is stability, IMHO. It's touted to be light weight, yet it brought two Dell 2950 servers with 4gb of RAM to their knees, along with a slew of workstations.

Our ultimate decision was to ditch VIPRE, and update our Trend CSM solution to the new "Worry Free"... Geez, did they have to use such a wishy-washy name????

I cannot, with good conscience, recommend this product to anyone.

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WI_SLIM said...

You will be happy with Trend WF. They've made big improvements in this release.

John Croson said...

I'll say. It was easy to deploy and configure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. This helps a lot.