This experience of mine goes way back in early days of my career where I was part of server management group 1997-98. This includes server, desktop, tools, database, backup management. To put it in IT terminology Jack of all Master of one (Netbackup Architect) … Now I now the terminology is changing though, where in you in need to be Jack of all but at least you have to be master of two to three products
This is the banking environment experience that I am referring to, where I started my career. Since we being one of the private techno savvy bank, with centralized banking system, was essential for us to have the high computing devices to cater to the banking connectivity of 300+ branches with those no of branch servers apart from the centralized banking servers of high computing and technology. I know those servers were too the tune of Compaq EVA Series, Compaq Proliant Servers, IBM Series, Sun Fire computing and the list would go one.. These are the few servers model those I can remember as of now off.
This experience of mine is on the one of kind’s first Indian banking environment. As mentioned this had the spread of 300+ branches in the days when I was associated with.
As a financial institution one of the very important aspects was to provide the OLTP i.e online transaction process to both retail and corporate customers to ensure that the systems are available for the basic transaction of credit and debit and for the corporate customers it was the same. In fact for corporate the importance of the availability was high as that had forex involved thus exposure to any virus threat that can be of the magnitude of costing the business in terms of revenue loss , stack of the company more importantly the image of the country would have got into radar. The senior management was surely looking out for a solution that would ensure the above. To list few concerns are as follows;
1. The most common virus threat that was in lime light those days and for the fact today as well are Trojan Horses, Worms, Email virus and important the virus that gets spread when a day and date of 13th Friday occurs there was a default virus attack that would be exposed to hard disk and fat corruption was called as “Columbus Day Virus”.
2. We had competing enterprise antivirus software in those days on Netware, but such specific instances were unable to be protecting the infection and spreading of the virus.
3. Ever attack lead to huge downtime the moment we had such a virus infection did lead to forex (foreign Exchange) revenue loss due to the non-availability of the systems, still we had retail customers getting impacted however those were handled manually and trust basis handing over the amount and making a note on the financial books – but was open for fraud kind of a situation
I was part of one of the virus attack happened on 13th Friday, which resulted into the service interruption and we had to really bring down about close to 10 servers out of the network and those branches were unable to function.
The recovery was only the way to come out of the situation, performing repartition of the hard disk and reformatting and only recovering the backed data from tape was done to restore the services back to operational. The entire process took the business downtime and management had to really go for some other antivirus solution, with the current antivirus vendor
Norton Antivirus Now Symantec
That time there were little option of competing enterprise antivirus software and had to really be sure that the going to be solution would protect the virus and spam attack going forward. The POC was done for the Norton software both at the desktops and the servers end. The results were amazing; we had not only integrated the Norton Antivirus but also ensure that architecture was changed and notification mechanism was configured with the api and ensure there were part of the automation system. Norton’s one of the main capabilities which was lacking in the earlier antivirus was more robust protection for the Novell netware and that was something that management was having a immediate attention and need for the resolution. We had the implementation team coming and performing the poc (proof of concept) as that was the first of kinds for any technology savvy organization. The poc resulted positive and gave a huge prevention mechanism, deduction and cleaning / removal of the infected was the key aspect of this product. We had the infected file information with the host name and other information required for the administrator to identify and troubleshoot the servers in the complex and hugely spread infrastructure across the country. One of the reasons going with Norton and now a Symantec product was their business vision lined with Symantec who were that time pioneer in secondary storage a solution was the key.
As mentioned we had 300+ branch servers and migrating into another antivirus was key. Removing the server out of the network and having the solution implemented and ensure the software was available all the time without causing and downtime or memory leak on the executables was the key aspect of our solution. We had a sequence of steps that had to be followed as remove the existing antivirus, perform a reboot and see in registry if there are any entries available, if available perform a crude way of deleting it and performing a reboot and check again. Once done then have the new software installed and configured the scan cycle both for the system executables which is like active all the time monitoring most infected areas that can result into the system crash and others would be drives that are attached and remotely available like c:\d: and network drives and perform full scan on weekly / off peak business hour basis both at the servers and at the desktops and those days laptop were near to negligible
The software was capable of handling the today’s sudden attack and tomorrow’s threat as well which his nothing but proactive management. This software use to provide malware prevention / cleaning / removal / deletion of the malicious object / executables. Few of the benefits and product feature were/ are as follows;
1. Proactive threat protection – thus providing protection from all the unknown threats that computer / server get into
2. Antivirus and antispyware protection – thus protecting from viruses like spam, Trojan horse and any spyware
3. Having centralized exceptions monitoring / handling capabilities thus enabling centralized virus management group, which in turn can get into to the desktop / server which got the infection remotely
4. Network protection thus blocking from all the network threats
5. Got the features of getting the latest updated getting updated into intranet centralized servers and from there getting distributed to all the servers / desktops
The never ending list of ease of management and operations were the key of the product and administrators were got up to the learning curves that were not aware of the product earlier as they were into other antivirus tool management.
Faster and more reliable Scan:
The antivirus scan would be running in the silent mode thus not impacting all the users and in fact the users would not be aware that the antivirus is running at that point time only if gets observed or open the client module of the product, where in it would display in summary sheet that the scan is running and this is the maximum time that it would take to complete the scan. Also it would have the information of the list of files that are infected in to the quarantined, where we can perform manual or auto clean and then remove / delete the file option. If the job is unfinished or not started the notification is sent accordingly to the administrator and to the end customer that the last scan was done on ex-date and need to be run very quickly if want to protect your computer.
Lower Maintenance Cost:
The other enterprise competing antivirus software had a tedious way of calculation and update and upgrade policy which use to be costly solutions. We had a service web support of 18% of the product value a costly affair. Hope you are able to get that tool name by now
The competing enterprise antivirus software vendor lacked specific skill set and were not adequate online support available from them. Even though we had the service support both telephonic and web based the response was not pleasing though. Norton Backend support teams was equipped with the industry experts with hands on real time experience in handling such virus attacks and provide the solutions to get rid of the virus which is targeted to be coming in near future. The approach of getting into this mode was only possible with their proactive nature of management that lead to envisaging the situation and coming out with the remedial steps.
This particular article is for generic interpretation and is not intended to misrepresent any particular brand or its features..