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AV software crippling performance

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October 15, 2012 12:21:30 PM

Not so much a statement but a minor rant...

I've been complaining to our IT systems director (structural engineering company of 6000 staff) about our antivirus software for about 2 years. Every wednesday it was checking for / running updates using >80% of the CPU for about 3 hours... you can imagine how much of a pain that is to have a practically useless PC for that period.

on top of that our analysis software generates huge temporary files (often up to 1GB), not being optimised for multi core systems it finds itself fighting with the AV software, usually getting <20% of one core for the analysis.

then this morning a break through, over the weekend we've been migrated to a new AV system (and all traces of the old one removed, so clearly a nice tidy install).

I ran a small model I've had plently of experience with over the last few weeks and was stunned by the result.

This morning (so suprised I re-ran it with a stop watch) = 46 seconds
Last week > 10minutes (usually go for a coffee or work on another project by hand during these analysis runs)

Had another try running off the network (so hitting a 100mbps bandwith limit) = 5:23

I knew that to old AV software was strangling performance, but even still I honestly couldn't believe how much of a change this is.

I feel so vindicated, but at the same time incredibly frustrated that all my comments fell on deaf ears.
a b 8 Security
October 15, 2012 1:04:19 PM

Who runs intensive tasks during business hours? They should have been running those updates over night.
October 15, 2012 1:17:09 PM

Unfortunately our environmental policy requires pc's to be shut down every night.

I got into a bun fight with the guy about a year ago (I'm quite a bit further down the food chain unfortunately) and they did something to rein it in, but it only worked for a few months.
I had a look on the AV softwares forum at that point, they were full of complaints from system administrators about how resource intensive it was ( well they've lost our business now!)
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a b 8 Security
October 15, 2012 2:09:50 PM

May i ask what av it was?
October 15, 2012 5:19:31 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
May i ask what av it was?


used to be mcafee, now sophos.

( I have no axe to grind, I have a paid for mcafee account on my home pc, and have never had a problem with it's operation - installation of new subscription updates has been a pain in the past but their support usually get there in the end)

spent the day playing with a few things, seems our network is still god awful, CAD software has seen little improvement, but our all our design software SAFE/ETABS/CSC have recieved a massive performance boost. (it's like having a shiny new supercomputer on my desk)

our biggest problem seems to be that all our licences work from a server in London, so starting any package takes forever.

a b 8 Security
October 15, 2012 6:07:02 PM

I thought it might be Mcafee,thanks for the input.
October 15, 2012 8:15:19 PM

Unfortunately our environmental policy requires pc's to be shut down every night.

I got into a bun fight with the guy about a year ago (I'm quite a bit further down the food chain unfortunately) and they did something to rein it in, but it only worked for a few months.
I had a look on the AV softwares forum at that point, they were full of complaints from system administrators about how resource intensive it was ( well they've lost our business now!)
!