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"What is the right product for a Windows Home Server 2011 network consisting of the server and several home office / family client computers?

Created: 12 Apr 2012 • Updated: 13 Jun 2012 | 11 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I am getting a run-around from the Norton division and would like Symantec to offer a solution to my situation. This is a pre-sales question about what security product mix will work in my situation. (Below is a thread I began with Norton, but they redirected me to Symantec corporate support; I'm hoping the Symantec community's expertise can solve this home / small home office configuration question).

"What is the right product for a Windows Home Server 2011 network consisting of the server and several home office / family client computers. (WHS2011, Win7starter, Win7home, Win7ultimate, WinVista, WinXPpro)".

WHS2011 and SBS2011E (Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials) are basically the same product. Both are derived from Windows Server 2008 R2. They are OEM products intended to be preinstalled and preconfigured on "headless" appliance-like servers. Microsoft does not support an antivirus/security solution on either, relying on 3rd parties. (Windows firewall and Windows Defender are pre-installed.) Due to the unique requirements of WHS2011 (and SBS2011E) the Windows firewall will need to remain in place, so a 3rd party firewall is not needed on the server. I have not been able to find any 3rd party which specifically addresses WHS2011 or SBS2001E. (Many may sell a 2008R2 solution, but these lack specific support for the common SDK, Dashboard, or Add-In which Microsoft SDK developed for WHS2011 and SBS2011E).

As the leader in antivirus / security software for the Windows platform, I'm hoping Symantec/Norton can step up to fill the void.

My specific requirements: Low cost, low technical skills to maintain/configure, centralized management (from WHS2011 Dashboard or webpage).

•WHS2011 - quantity 1
•Win7 - quantity 3
•WinVista - quantity 1
•WinXP - quantity 2

Thanks!

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Norton Email Support <email@support01.norton.com>
To: xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 4:32 AM
Subject: Technical Support [Incident:506681875]

Hello George,

Thank you for contacting Norton Support.

To assist you further regarding the purchase of products, I request you to contact our Enterprise Support Team.

You can locate Enterprise Support contact information by selecting your country at:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/contact_techsupp_static.jsp

If you require any assistance with regard to Norton consumer product, please contact us.

Thanks,
Harish S.N
Norton Support Representative

------------------Original Message------------------
From: xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, Apr 12 2012 3:52:17:413AM
To: email@support01.norton.com
Subject: Technical Support [Incident:506681875]

EmailText : Need pre-sales technical support to select the right product for a Windows Home Server 2011 network consisting of the server and several home office / family client computers. (WHS2011, Win7starter, Win7ultimate, WinVista, WinXPpro)

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

thatdude's picture

Symantec Endpoint Protection supports server OS's. It does require someone with good technical skills as does other enterprise endpoint products. These solutions are no longer just AV.

Geo.'s picture

Thatdude, oh really?

I am familiar with the range of products offered by Symantec and that there is more to network or client security than just antivirus.

I'm looking for someone (maybe from Symantec) who works both sides of the Symantec business and Norton consumer side who can put the two sides together and offer a solution. The problem is the Symantec business products don't seem to offer consumer-oriented functionality (parental controls, ease of management, pricing/licensing models) and specifically exlude the Windows "Home" edition OS. Meanwhile the Norton consumer products will not run on a server SKU.

I am surprised this particular product mix isn't available. Apparently. 

P.S. Asking Symantec/Norton chat or e-mail sales support doesn't help. Which is why I gave the example in the first posting.

Thomas K's picture

Unfortunately, it is not possible to merge the consumer AV and the enterprise protection products together. The Norton products do not support the server OS. Your best bet for your environment would be our Endpoint Protection SMB product. It is easy to set up and maintain, and is able to protect all the operating systems in your list.

You can give the product a free 30 day trial - https://www4.symantec.com/Vrt/offer?a_id=117526

One other thing, you can add some features like Safe Web Lite and Norton ConnectSafe to your environment while running the Endpoint Protection SMB products.

Safe Web Lite provides a safer search experience by warning you of dangerous Web sites right in your search results - http://safeweb.norton.com/lite

ConnectSafe blocks inappropriate content in 23 different languages - https://dns.norton.com/dnsweb/homePage.do

I hope this helps.

Best,

Thomas

Geo.'s picture

I have a pre-sales technical dialog going outside of the community forum, and initially it was suggested I go with the Symantec Enterprise Endpoint Protection .Cloud (http://www.symantec.com/endpoint-protection-cloud) for the Windows Home Server 2011 machine. I could use the same SEP.Cloud product, or a Norton security suite on the client endpoints. That was the path, and it seemed promissing.

Upon looking closely at the supported platforms for SEP.Cloud, I noted that while Small Business Server 2011 is listed, Windows Home Server 2011 is not. I was concerned because if I were to encounter an issue I'd want Symantec to own the issue and fix it - not waive their hands saying I was running on an unsupported platform. Pre-sales responded to this with:

I did some further digging on this and was able to verify that Home server is not supported by SEP today. We currently do not have a solution, consumer or enterprise, that supports Windows Home Server.”

That means nobody, not Microsoft, not Symantec, not McAfee, not Trend Micro (and the several dozen other antivirus vendors) have an official server-side security product for Windows Home Server 2011. Given the nature of the server (it has open ports through the home router to the Internet via uPnP in order to provide remote web access for RDP) it is really irresponsible of Microsoft not to have lined up a security partner (or supplied their own solution). *sigh*

I am thinking I will do a trial of the SEP.Cloud on the server and cross my fingers it will work and I won't need to open up a technical support incident. Maybe Symantec would offer me a "beta tester" status and seek to certify their SEP product on this platform? I'd be willing.

I like the Norton products for the clients, seems like in 2012 these are the best value and have the most robust functionality. This makes more sense than installing SEP small business edition or SEP.Cloud on the clients and then adding bits and pieces from Norton to attempt to "upgrade" SEP to do the consumer-friendly security which is already included in the full Norton client.

Geo.'s picture

Although not "officially" supported by Symantec, I am successfully running a trial of SEP.Cloud on WHS2011. The .Cloud management portal (https://hostedendpoint.spn.com/) reports WHS2011 as a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine.

  • I have created custom Group and Policy settings.
  • I removed the SEP.Cloud firewall (relying instead on the customized built-in Windows firewall; I assume I could get SEP.Cloud firewall to work, but I don't want to mess with a functional configured WHS2011 Microsoft firewall setup that is already working).
  • Virus definition files haved updated without incident.
  • Full scan of server harddrives have completed without incident (the usual "extraction errors encountered by the Decomposer Engines." on certain compressed .cab files.
  • No malware detected, no intrusions detected, no problems or performance issues noted.

I also installed Norton 360 on my client computers, ranging from a 1GB Intel Atom-powered Netbook running Windows 7 Starter Edition, old Windows XP machine with 2GB, and newer Windows 7 4GB desktop and 2GB laptop. I am quite pleased with the Norton 360 product's feature set (for home users the Parentral Controls functionality is quite good). Norton 360 features a web-based central management capability; although not a true "cloud" security product, it is useful. Now only if Symantec would include Windows Home Server 2011 support within their Norton 360...!

I'll post back at the conclusion of this trial. At $35 SEP.cloud is reasonably priced for WHS2011.

Thomas K's picture

I'm happy to hear you found a working solution for WHS. Keep us posted on the outcome of your testing.

Thanks,

Thomas

Geo.'s picture

No news is good news regarding the SEP.Cloud antivirus/antispam components (I'm not using SEP.Cloud firewall) running on my Windows Home Server 2011 as a paid subscription. The real-time scan performance seems to be very low overhead, and the biweekly full scans occur at night and so I'm not having performance issues there either. No malware detection or false positives yet.

I've had a couple of technical support questions to the SEP.Cloud team, and although not difficult questions, the response was fast and direct. So thumbs up on support as well.

All of my Clients are running Norton 360 which is working well for us, as good as I've experienced with any AV product.

The only missing element is "official" support fo WHS2011 and the product lacks WHS2011 Dashboard Support, so all of my local server configuration is via remote desktop.

SOLUTION
Thomas K's picture

Thanks for the report. Glad to hear the SEP.cloud team are quick to answer your questions. Out of curiosity, how are you engaging the SEP.cloud team? Chat, forums, email, phone...?

Cheers,

Thomas

Geo.'s picture

If you want to help urge Symantec to address the need for "official" support of Windows Home Server customers, please vote for my "idea" to enhance their Norton and/or Endpoint Protection product lines:  http://www.symantec.com/connect/ideas/certify-symantec-endpoint-protection-cloud-or-norton-product-windows-home-server-2011