I was given a short notice assignment this past week. The goal was to move our cloud hosted antivirus service to an in-house solution before the end of the month. The cloud solution was paid for until the end of July and quite expensive. The in-house solution was already bought and paid for as part of a larger package and my task was to coordinate efforts so that IBM Lotus Domino email would send/receive filtered mail through the solution.
I had a couple of small issues with it.
First, the package solution wasn't purchased with high availability, or antivirus really in mind. It was assumed that since we acquired the antivirus anyways then we should use it. This solution was partly installed in our primary data center but no one had asked about the high availability site. No big deal, we could do that for a small licensing fee and a virtual machine at the secondary site.
Second, the solution would run entirely on existing x86-64 servers that are a few years old...not too out of date, but they're getting there. When you can't buy more of the same disk that's already installed you know the machine is nearing end of life.
Then the potential costs started adding up. The primary x86-64 server needed disk. The secondary may need memory.
In my experience, more servers are more points of failure. Two more VM's means two more operating systems to maintain. More security to maintain. There's cables and switches and other pieces of physical equipment in between the virus scanning and our IBM Lotus Domino mail servers on Power Systems.
Also, we're in the process of phasing out servers running on x86-64 virtual machines and moving them to Power Systems. For instance, we have a number of servers defined for a production management system originally written in MS Access. Right now it's being converted to a PHP application with DB2 database on IBM i. Those servers will be decomissioned within the next few months. In fact, the only thing I think we'll be using x86-64 for is Microsoft Active Directory.
So, instead of investing in more x86-64 or looking further to the cloud, I decided on using Bytware's StandGuard Anti-Virus for Domino
. I don't give vendor plugs very often but I felt the need to write about this one.
StandGuard Anti-Virus installs on IBM i as a regular licensed program. The Domino component is a simple plug-in with 4 NSF files. I had the entire solution running on both Power Systems servers in no more than 40 minutes total. No additional disk or memory needed. No additional operating systems to maintain. No additional points of failure. It's a solution that plugs in seamlesssly and works out of the can with very minimal configuration.
So...what does it cost for this simplicity? I mean, you'd expect solutions that run on big tin to cost big money, right?
Not at all. The Bytware solution was a far less the cost of our pre-existing cloud solution. I can't really compare with the proposed x86-64 antivirus solution because it was purchased for another purpose, but StandGuard for Domino was less expensive than that also. Even if it did cost more, I would have paid the difference in order to run the solution on IBM i, as any extra costs to maintain x86-64 hardware are eliminated. Plus, StandGuard protects our Integrated File System (IFS) on IBM i so it can't be used as a host for storing viruses.
I've been a Bytware customer when I worked with a former employer and I can say their customer service is still phenomenal. They were very helpful to not only answer my pre-sale technical questions but to make sure I had all the information, temporary license keys and download instructions right away. Their eagerness to help me have it up and running, in my opinion, speaks volumes of their confidence in a good, solid solution.
Power Systems wins. I'm a very happy Bytware customer once again.
Read the original at Steve Pitcher.