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Symantec Considering Virtualization Pay-Per-Use Software

Pretty much everyone is familiar with ‘On-line’ virus scanning services provided by some of the big players in the removal industry.

You go to the site, run the On-line scan, find out you have a virus, then you pay for the full version of the software to effectively remove the infection. Some companies, mainly open source based, offer everything for free.

Symantec believes that virtualization could put an end to long-term software licensing in favor of a pay-per-use model. Virtualized or streaming applications, software that is run on centralized machines and streamed to computers over a network allows monitoring precisely how long each instance of the software is used for. Licensing deals could be structured per day, per hour, or even per second.

Ken Berryman, Vice President of endpoint virtualization at Symantec, quoted:

You can detect application usage so you can cut the number of licenses down to what is being used. There are a lot of customers that would like to use that to only have to pay when using the software, but there is resistance among vendors to change the licensing model. What you cannot do today is go down to a charge-per-use model.”

Licensing periods are becoming shorter, and one day may go down to the individual use model. Symantec is currently working on a virtualization prototype security service that allows protection to systems without installed security applications.

Using a built-in hypervisor would allow Symantec to screen and intercept code before it is run on the virtual machine on a user’s computer.

Whenever a machine asks for some code, before you give it to them, you would give it to us, and we will scan against 47,000-plus virus definitions, and if it looks like a virus, we can inject our agent into that machine and kill the processes, and delete the files associated with that.”

Symantec is currently deciding on how to deploy such a virtualized security model and when there will be a market for it, according to Bruce McCorkendale.

Techno-babble aside, the Pay-Per-Use model is already being implemented in some ways by some PC Makers, such as Dell. Dell preloads its systems with antivirus software that is good for a trial period, and on top of that, they offer their Dell-On-Call (DoC) service. DoC is an instanced fee based service that gets used quite heavily by its consumers for virus and spyware removal – even within the trial operating period of the pre-loaded security suite software. Essentially, this IS a pay-per-use service for the purpose of infection removal – mostly.

The virtualization technology sounds intriguing, but power-users may find it a little ‘too integrated’ for their liking. Development and potential deployment of such a service should prove to be quite interesting in the future.

  • So...Norton would get a copy of every one of my files sent to their servers to check for Viri?

    Please tell me I am misunderstanding this:
    “Whenever a machine asks for some code, before you give it to them, you would give it to us, and we will scan against 47,000-plus virus definitions, and if it looks like a virus, we can inject our agent into that machine and kill the processes, and delete the files associated with that.”
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    Or use AVG free edition
    Reply
  • falchard
    Most of those 47000+ virus' created by symantec to create business. Why would I want symantec to do anything for my machine? Thier software is bloated and is more harming to my systems stability then if I had a virus on it. They aren't even in the top 10 of anti-virus company.
    Reply
  • smalltime0
    That would make DDoS the Symatec servers a whole lot easier... just get everybody to 'try' the anti virus suite and then surf the net...
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    The only Symantec application I like is the Norton Removal Tool:
    http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    jhansonxiThe only Symantec application I like is the Norton Removal Tool:http://service1.symantec.com/Suppo 3108162039+1
    Reply
  • randomizer
    "Injecting your agent" sounds equally damaging. Bad choice of words.
    Reply
  • Symantec has a bad rap from past versions of AV. But frankly the latest NIS2009 is one of the best retail titles out there, and Endpoint Protection MR3 is worlds better now that it's out, when compared to MR2 and older.

    The bulk of the folks that have posted dont pay for most of their software anyways, and haven't a clue about app virtualization.
    Reply
  • Looks indeed like a lot of bandwidth to be used.
    And with a lot of countries bringing in bandwidth cap, this will be a major issue,and not many people will be happy downloading the same file over and over again just to check their systems every week.
    What if confidential (company) material is infected, and in need to be send over the internet, and is being intercepted?
    Will Norton pay for the losses?

    Also,does that mean we will probably have to do a system scan twice per year (or every week,for what it's worth) only to find out we had a virus running on our system for a few days already?

    Ow,and what about the safer company that decided to have only a couple of computers connected to the internet while being connected to a local intranet with hundreds of computers connected to (that doesn't have internet access)?

    However you look at it, you can't change the fact that there'll always be a need for an offline anti-virus.

    Which brings me to the following topic:
    Licenses.
    I don't think it's fair that a license of a Norton product is limited in years of use.
    I believe if I buy a product from Norton, with a license of 2 years for instance, Norton should give me updates for 2 years. After which I'll no longer receive support (updates), but I find that I still have the right to be able to use the program without trouble.
    I believe it's more than fair,just like a car with factory guarantee, after 100.000 miles it's really time to change a car, but some users prefer to still drive an additionally 50.000 to 100.000miles to save cost..

    I think it's not fair to disable or even cripple an anti-virus program updated to the latest, being more then capable of protecting a pc of over 40.000 viruses.
    If I decided I wanted to use this product for another year before upgrading, I know full well the security risks I bring myself into.

    But like said on the forum before, I know what I'm doing. I've only been infected twice in 12 years of internet use, and that was when checking out fishy sites, with IE5 on win98 and once on winXP,with IE6.
    Reply
  • kamkal
    AVs "subscription" service is a scam. Period.



    Reply