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Endpoint Security Blog

PassMark puts Symantec and competitor endpoint security products through performance test

Created: 26 Oct 2010 • Updated: 26 Oct 2010 • 1 comment
Art G's picture
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Marketers love to boast about the performance of their products.  However, it is not always clear what is meant by “performance”.  Are we talking scan speed?  Memory use?  CPU utilization?  Impact on boot up times?  Impact on opening files? . . . .  
It turns out there is no one definition of performance.  The impact on the user’s experience due to any piece of software will vary based on the user’s systems, what they are running or doing, time of day, phases of the moon – you get the idea, lots of variables.
Symantec has been grappling with how to measure performance for quite a while.  Historically, our development team pegged a few key metrics (scan speed, memory, …) and thought they had a handle on the performance issue.  Some of our users seemed to have a different experience.  So we went out and found experts on performance testing – PassMark Software.  
PassMark’s primary business is rating the performance of CPUs and other hardware. They specifically don’t believe in selecting one metric as a basis for performance claims.  Instead, PassMark’s latest roundup of the performance of enterprise and small business security solutions (you can  read the reports here ) tested 14 metrics of performance in what we believe is the most comprehensive set of tests on endpoint security performance. PassMark’s tests are designed to reflect real world use cases and pain points enterprise and small business users commonly experience with endpoint security software.  The tests includes both intrinsic (e.g., scan, UI launch, installed footprint, install time, registry key count) and extrinsic (e.g. impact on file-copy, browsing, encoding/trans-coding media files)  performance metrics and measure the impact on users’ normal use on PC.
The good news is that Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 12.0 both did quite well, beating all tested competitive products in the combined results. That is not to say there isn’t room for improvement, but the PassMark reports are a validation that our focus on performance has paid off.  Symantec has listened carefully to its  customers and has been steadily optimizing its endpoint  solutions for performance and  security . There may not be one way to measure performance, but if you look at a number of metrics you probably do get an accurate picture of the total performance impact of these products.
Test results proved Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 performed

  • Fastest web browsing
  • Executed scheduled scans in half the time as Kaspersky
  • Consumed nearly 50% less idle processor usage as Trend Micro and McAfee.

 In the small business category, Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition  

  • Consumed the least processor cycles during security scanning
  • Executed on-demand scans twice as quickly as Kaspersky  
  • Performed web browsing in half the time compared to McAfee

PassMark's testing demonstrates conclusively that a bloated endpoint solution can impact business productivity. Knowing this well, Symantec has trimmed the fat from its endpoint solutions to improve your business performance.

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xlloyd's picture

Congrats to Symantec! With the clear vision you guys have, it's no wonder you're always on top.

Personally, I'm glad to be partners with Symantec 'cause I'd hate to be a McAfee or Kaspersky rep and have to suggest my rival to my potential customer lol.

Keep on with the performance evaluation and keep the community up to date so we'll always have the knowledge of our competitive advantage!

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