Many IT administrators have taken advantage of the Microsoft Security Essentials platform to run on Windows client systems for antivirus and spyware protection. This package is easy to administer, quick to install, and generally has the necessary features for a client endpoint protection package. Plus, the price can’t be beat.

On the server side, we’ve been without a complementing Microsoft solution until recently. Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 gives this functionality to server operating systems, and is available for a free 120 day trial. I recently downloaded this antivirus protection for my Windows Servers in my personal virtualization test lab. It is important to have some antivirus solution for my lab server operating systems, as I am generally stuck only able to protect the client operating systems due to the costs of server antivirus programs.

Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 is only 75 MB, but don’t let the small size fool you — it has a lot of features. Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 has direct integration to Microsoft System Center Operations Manager with a management pack for easy integration to an enterprise framework. If a standalone client installation is required, the FEPInstall.exe file located in the \FEP2010_en-us\x64\client folder will do the trick. Installing the standalone client is rather straightforward (Figure A).
Figure A

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Once the installation is completed, Windows will prompt for a reboot of the Server. After Windows is started back up, the Forefront Endpoint client will be available for updates and configuration. The first task automatically will be to download an update to the local definitions (Figure B).
Figure B

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At that point, the Endpoint Protection client is ready for additional configuration; this includes scheduled scans, exclusions, and detection behavior. One feature I noted with this configuration is that network drives are permitted to be scanned, which can save work in some situations or create duplication in others. Figure C shows this area of the configuration (note the system tray icon is highlighted).
Figure C

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So far, I like Forefront Endpoint Protection. I’ll post another blog about the product after I use it more. For additional information, be sure to check out this Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 white paper on TechRepublic.

If you have used Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010, let us know what you think of it.