Antigen for Exchange

The Sybari Antigen suite consists of components that cover Exchange, SharePoint and Domino, the first of which was submitted for this Group Test. The software includes the Central and Quarantine Managers and Job Scheduler.

The Central Manager is just that, a central management agent giving day-to-day control. Very cute and graphical, it breaks with the trend towards stark tree view interfaces and aims instead to making the controls as accessible as possible, even to novice administrators. It is pretty, but there are some glitches, such as drop-lists obscuring parts of the display which later fail to refresh. In its favor, the ActiveX browser component is virtually identical, meaning local and remote management are completely seamless. But you can only have one console logged in at a time, which puts paid to delegated management.

The Job Scheduler is much better, and we quickly eschewed the pretty display for this baby, which schedules tasks including policy deployment and scheduling reports. The jobs reside in a database- table: very clean and slick. It can return log output and HTML reports.

There is plenty of control over each job's configuration. Batches of tasks can be scheduled at a time: an extremely useful asset. Jobs can be run against any group of clients and servers, though you have to select each system individually for each job. The ability to create default groups of systems would be helpful.

The Quarantine Manager is a similarly plain table listing infections with related client information. It is quick and clean, but if everyone gets the same virus at once in a big company it could quickly get out of control. Fortunately, it is easy to sort the entries and run multiple selects and deletes, though there is only a limited data filter. You can save the results out in CSV format and mangle the data at your leisure, but we would have liked to see that built in.

The Antigen engine supports a number of anti-virus products, including Norman, Sophos, Computer Associates and Sybari's own. To tweak performance and response, the 'bias' of each engine can be tuned, which is clever but probably of limited real applicability.

The management is clearly specific to Exchange. Even the web browser management interface requires a signed ActiveX component to be downloaded. So long as you are exclusively a one-platform environment, that's not a problem. The suite has some unique features, but overall it is the small shortcomings that bring it up short.

Product title
Antigen for Exchange
Product info
Name: Antigen for Exchange (AV Management group test) Description: Price: $2,625 (100 users, 2 years)
Admin interfaces for both novice and power users.
Only minor interface complaints.
Good option for Exchange messaging environments of any size.

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