Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

Guest Editorial: Do You Run Antivirus Software on Your SQL Servers?

By Brad McGehee,

I have been to some IT departments where the standard procedure is to install antivirus/antispyware software on all servers, no matter what applications are running on it. In addition, the default settings are left untouched, which means that virtually every byte of data is examined, in real time, before it is read or written to disk. This virus checking is in addition to any regularly scheduled scans of most of the files on the server’s drives.

If you have ever examined the amount of memory, CPU, and disk I/O resources used by antivirus/antispyware software, you will know that it is a performance hog and, on a busy SQL Server, can cause huge performance issues for your users.

So what do you do? Depending on your situation, you have one of three options:

  1. Run the AV software using its default settings, and buy big enough hardware to overcome any resource contention issues.
  2. Remove the AV software entirely, but take other measures to help ensure that viruses can’t affect your server.
  3. Compromise. Some DBAs remove the AV software from their SQL Servers, but remotely scan it from another server on a scheduled basis, and during a time when the server is not too busy. Other DBAs leave the AV software on their SQL Servers, but change the default settings so that the scans exclude .mdf, .ldf, .ndf, .bak, .trn, full-text catalog files, and any folders that include Analysis Services data.

If your SQL Server is running on a web server that is accessible from the Internet, then the first option might be the right choice. If your SQL Server is running on a closed network, then the second option might work fine. If your SQL Server is in a mixed environment, combined with other servers and end-users connected to the same network, then the third option might be best.

So, here’s my question to you. Have you given any serious thought as to the level of antivirus/antispyware protection you need for your SQL Server instances, and to the performance implications of the strategy you have chosen? If you have, tell us what you have done, and why you have made the choices you did.

Brad M McGehee
Director of DBA Education
Red Gate Software

Total article views: 609 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
 
Related Articles
FORUM

FILESTREAM - Should you let antivirus software can the filestream volume

FILESTREAM - Should you let antivirus software can the filestream volume

BLOG

Configuring Antivirus for SQL Servers

I've been on both sides of the debate with respect to whether or not to install antivirus software o...

BLOG

Updated Thoughts on Antivirus on SQL Servers

I hate running antivirus on SQL Servers. I agree antivirus is a necessary evil on most systems, bu...

FORUM

Opinions on SQL Server Software

A post about the various options on SQL Server software

FORUM

SQL Server 2008 Encryption Software

Security software

Tags
 
Contribute

Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones
Editor, SQLServerCentral.com

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones