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Security Community Blog

Maintenance Release 3 (MR3)

Created: 26 Sep 2008 • Updated: 02 Mar 2009 • 7 comments
BradKingsbury's picture
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My team has been diligently working over the past few months to produce what I believe is the best endpoint security solution on the market. I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the latest results of what the team has accomplished.

Maintenance Release 3 (MR3) shipped to manufacturing just a few days ago. Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) has come a long way since the initial release. In this release, we focused on improving the overall performance of both the management server and client. This week we’ll take a look at the improvements that have been made to the client and then I’ll follow this up with some of the enhancements we made on the management server.


Although considerable improvements have been made to each release, the goal for MR3 was to improve the performance to exceed that of previous versions of SEP, SAV and that of our competitors. As you can see from the charts below, MR3 has improved the boot time dramatically. A machine running SEP MR3 now starts faster than the same computer running previous versions of SAV/SCS/SEP. In addition, we have reduced the overall I/O and Paging, and we have reduced the number of threads used. Overall the client responds and performs without impacting the system. I believe that we have met the mark with performance because I am getting extremely positive feedback from customers. One of the comments I recently received from a large real estate organization stated that they didn’t even notice SEP was installed!




With this release, we also wanted to improve the time it takes to do everyday tasks. The Tolly Group recently compared Symantec Endpoint Protection against the competition and measured the overall time it took to do a task like opening Outlook and opening a Word document. As you can see below, we are doing better than our competitors and we’ll continue to improve performance in every future release. What’s even more impressive about these measurements, is that Symantec Endpoint Protection has more protection technology in the agent than these other offerings, yet still runs faster.



As part of these performance improvements, we’ve been working closely with our consumer team, the guys responsible for Norton Internet Security 2009. Check out the PC Magazine review of their latest release (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2330018,00.asp), where they won Editor’s Choice. They also spent a lot of time and effort ensuring that your security software doesn’t get in the way of getting your job done! Also, the consumer and enterprise desktop products share the same engines and components, so the detection results displayed in the article represent what you’ll see with SEP.

As you can tell, I’m very excited about SEP MR3! The response from our beta users so far has been extremely positive and I’m very confident that you’ll also enjoy the enhancements we’ve made. In a few weeks, I’ll discuss some of the enhancements we made to the management server.

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Ongoing pain's picture

Brad, I wish I could share in your enthusiasm about MR3. Your statistics are great on performance, but as an enterprise product, you have yet to address any improvements in reducing installation pain for sysadmins. After many lost hours of productivity on the RTM, we finally established a "stable" environment with MR1. MR2 showed only marginal improvements and didn't warrant the pain of the upgrade for us. MR3 looks promising, but I have to schedule at least a week of time to: "plan the upgrade", test and roll out the product and have margin for troubleshooting what I hope are minimal issues.

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mukababi's picture

We had been waiting on the MR3 release to resolve problems we were having on a Win2008 File Server. To run the EPP 11 MR2 we had to disable the Tamper Protection and remove the WSRM (Win Sys Resource Mgr)feature. With both things on the server, it would lock up and have to be rebooted 1-2x each day. We also had to minimize our EPP install to AV only.

After the MR3 upgrade not much has changed. I can run tamper protection now and have reinstalled WSRM but the numbver of errors tell me that more is needed. For now I am going to remove WSRM aqnd monitor.

In a nutshell. MR3 hasn't done anything for us yet. Even configuring the relase for auto updating of the clients worked only 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time we had to manually remove the MR2 ver. before pushing MR3 from the Console Mgr

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BradKingsbury's picture

First, let me apologize for any issues that you have encountered with the previous versions of the product. We have worked very diligently over the last year to reduce the pain that our customers were feeling with the product. We have continued to improve the installation process in each maintenance release. In MR2, we made improvements to the installer to limit the complexity and the number of questions that were asked. We also tuned additional parameters in the product based on the size of the organization. In MR3, we have continued to make significant improvements in performance. MR3 also improves the installation process by changing the default ports and using a new site in IIS. This eliminates a majority of the conflicts with existing software that may have been previously installed. We are dedicated to continuing to improve the installation process and overall usability of the product. The majority of the customers that I have recently spoken to are providing very positive feedback. As it sounds like you are experiencing some issues, I encourage you to contact technical support and allow us the opportunity to help you solve the problems. If for any reason your problem continues, please let me know. Thanks...

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John_B's picture

What version of Office did you test with? We are seeing significant performance issues with Office 2007 and SEP11. We are in the process of migrating from Sophos/Webroot/Sygate to SEP11, and have had to unistall SEP and move some clients back to those products as the performance has been unacceptable.

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Arnie Spitzmacher's picture

We have been working on an issue with Symantec Endpoint and VPN for over a month now. What a slow process and poor communication with technicians.
I have an issue with LiveUpdate clients connecting to the management console.
We have just upgraded and not very happy. Looking of other antivirus solutions.

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willieredneck's picture

I believe SEP11 is a vast improvement over SCC-AV10.x for many reasons. Many sysadmins will understand the use of policies placed on groups, inheritance, and the ramifications of making the slighest change. The key is planning and configuration. Many of the fires that our company underwent when upgrading could have easily been avoided had more complete planning been done. It would have led to a better overall configuration of the policies, groups, etc than what was done.
Now that we have been spun up and understand the product, we have found it more manageable to work with. There are still some improvements that we will want to see, such as reporting and log consolidations - but those are to be desired. The product has done what is was designed for; just have to get educated beforehand.

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HVTech's picture

According to the specs page ( http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-security.nsf/docid/2007082112580548 ) the manager should run on a 64 bit server. Will the Manager run on a Server 2008 64-Bit Server with MR3? I hear this was in the plans but they were not sure if it would make it to MR3.

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