Wednesday 11 February 2009

Symantec Endpoint Protection MR4 Memory Footprint and CPU Usage

A while back, we blogged about Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) and how much of a memory hog it was: SBS on dual Xeon E5345 Quad vs. 5130 Dual Core + Symantec EndPoint Memory Costs.

We just finished our first site A/V migration off of Trend’s Worry Free Business Security back to Symantec’s Endpoint Protection in its MR4 version. In this case, as well as it will be at the other Trend sites we have, we paid for a 1 year gold maintenance SEP agreement for the client’s site, removed the Trend product, and installed SEP at no cost to our clients.

Our Trend odyssey can be read here:

Given our past experience with SEP RTM, the one main concern we had was with memory usage.

We were fortunate that in this case, we had a second server with Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 installed running a number of different roles on the SBS 2003 domain. The box has 16GB of RAM installed, so memory should not be an issue.

Here are a couple of screenshots of SEP up and running on the Win2K8 x64 box:

09-02-11 Symantec - Program Footprints

Symantec Endpoint Protection MR4 x64 Memory Footprint (SEP Client and SEP Management Server): ~200MB

The above screenshot was taken after about 3 days of the server being in production. The memory footprint out of the box was not a whole lot less than that.

Wow! What a huge step down in memory consumption versus the previous versions of the product.

Symantec utilizes SQL Anywhere for their database structures:

09-02-11 Symantec - Db SQL Anywhere footprint

SEP MR4 SQL Anywhere Memory Footprint: ~82MB

The combined total RAM usage of the product on the management server is less than 250MB! That is an awesome achievement. Especially since that number includes both the client and management components.

The SEP client on the workstations has also taken a huge step down in its memory consumption:

09-02-11 Symantec SEP MR4 on Windows Vista

SEP MR4 Windows Vista Enterprise Client Memory Footprint: ~30MB

 09-02-11 Symantec SEP MR4 on Windows XP Pro

SEP MR4 Windows XP Professional Client Memory Footprint: ~15MB

It looks as though both the server and workstation versions were slimmed right down.

Besides the memory footprint reduction, the CPU resources that the server A/V and client workstation A/V uses has been drastically reduced. In our workstation VMs, the client would run around 3-5% of the CPU cycles during intensive usage while on physical laptops and workstations that number would barely approach 1-3% during intensive usage.

On the server side, Live Update is set up to run update checks hourly, and it does seem to be pulling a good number of updates down for each SEP component during those update sessions. So, it looks as though Symantec is also keen on having the product as up to date as possible.

Now, whether our SEP clients remain virus free will be another thing to see yet.

But, given the fact that none of our clients had a virus problem while on Symantec’s previous generation corporate products, we are counting on SEP to keep that virus free legacy alive.

NOTE: We do not install third party firewall components on servers or workstations. We only install the A/V and malware components.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac!

Windows Live Writer


silentminority said...

this is the information that i've been looking for :)...thanks

Lukey said...

Nice report, thanks. I'm curious as to why you moved away from Trend?

My Company is getting a lot of pressure from our ICT Consultants to cross-grade to Trend from SEP11. I have grave concerns about this.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


In this article is a link that has all of our Trend posts by category.

We had _a lot_ of grief with their product. And, via some exclusive e-mail lists as well as public ones I see that there are still a lot of ongoing issues with Trend.

We will not touch their product.