This article contains key points and frequently asked questions about the Computer Associates antivirus engine consolidation.
On January 16, 2007, Computer Associates announced that they will combine their Vet and InoculateIT (iRiS) antivirus engines into a single antivirus engine to unify their approach to handle malware and spyware.
This announcement affects all Microsoft Antigen, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, and Forefront Security for SharePoint customers who are running the InoculateIT or Vet antivirus engine. These customers will want to cancel the selection of the InoculateIT engine.
The new antivirus engine combines the strengths of the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines. Therefore, the customers of the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines will receive the same protection that they did when they ran the two antivirus engines independently.
The antivirus engine unification gives Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint customers the ability to select an additional antivirus engine to use in their overall virus protection. Forefront server security products support up to five antivirus engines per scanning operation. Therefore, customers who select the newly combined Vet antivirus engine can still select up to four additional antivirus engines. Customers can select antivirus engines from Microsoft and from other industry-leading antivirus engine Microsoft partners to be part of their security mix.
For Microsoft Antigen customers who had the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines selected, protection will remain the same even though there is one less antivirus engine selected. Antigen customers who had either the Vet or InoculateIT antivirus engine selected will receive the benefits of the combined protection that is provided in the new unified antivirus engine when they select the Vet antivirus engine.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: Why is Computer Associates moving from two antivirus engines to one antivirus engine?
A1: Computer Associates customers increasingly ask for a simplified approach to handling malware and spyware by using a unified antivirus engine. Computer Associates addressed this customer need by implementing a long-term strategy to unify their malware-, spyware-, and adware-scanning antivirus engines. The decision to use only the Vet antivirus engine is the first step in this strategy. Computer Associates felt that the sooner they could begin, the sooner the unified antivirus engine for malware, spyware, and adware could be delivered.
Q2: What are the benefits of the transition to a unified antivirus engine?
A2: By using a unified antivirus engine, Computer Associates expects that customers will benefit from decreased memory requirements, decreased system or network management overhead, and simplified maintenance. Additionally, a unified antivirus engine will lessen the size of the updates of the combined products. This will reduce the effect on network bandwidth.
Q3: When will the transition to a unified antivirus engine occur?
A3: The transition to a unified antivirus engine is currently scheduled for January 2007.
Q4: If a customer currently has the InoculateIT antivirus engine selected, will the customer be protected?
A4: The InoculateIT antivirus engine will continue to function. Microsoft will work together with Computer Associates to package and distribute the new combined Vet antivirus engine updates for the InoculateIT antivirus engine. However, we recommend that all Antigen, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, and Forefront Security for SharePoint customers cancel the selection of the Computer Associates InoculateIT antivirus engine. Instead, these customers should select the Vet antivirus engine. This will prevent customers from receiving duplicate updates for the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines.
Q5: What will occur if a customer does not cancel the selection of the InoculateIT antivirus engine in Antigen products or in Forefront products?
A5: Computer Associates has agreed to provide updates for the InoculateIT antivirus engine to Microsoft through January 30, 2007. From February 1, 2007, through June 30, 2007, Microsoft will provide the Vet antivirus engine updates for the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines. This will make sure that a customer is not unprotected if a customer selects the InoculateIT antivirus engine. However, this means that the customer will effectively be downloading and scanning messages by using the same antivirus engine if the customer has the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines selected. This is an inefficient use of server resources. Therefore, we strongly encourage customers to cancel the selection of the InoculateIT antivirus engine as soon as possible.
Q6: What will happen to signature updates for the Vet antivirus engine?
A6: Microsoft will provide signature updates for the Vet antivirus engine in the same manner and in the same schedule as current signature updates for the InoculateIT antivirus engine. Microsoft will package the Vet antivirus engine updates to update the InoculateIT antivirus engine until June 30, 2007. Additionally, Microsoft will send a reminder to customers before June 30, 2007.
Q7: Customers bought Antigen products or Forefront Server Security products specifically because of their multiengine strategy. Does moving from two Computer Associates antivirus engines to one Computer Associates antivirus engine reduce the effectiveness of antivirus protection?
A7: The effectiveness of antivirus protection is not reduced. Computer Associates combines the strengths of the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines into a unified engine. Therefore, customers will receive the same benefits that they did before the consolidation. Antigen products or Forefront Server Security products continue to include antivirus engines from many industry-leading antivirus engine partners. These partners include Kaspersky, Authentium, VirusBuster, Norman, AhnLab, Sophos, and Microsoft.
Q8: When customers purchased Antigen, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, or Forefront Security for SharePoint, they expected to have one more antivirus engine. However, they now have access to a single antivirus engine because of the Computer Associates antivirus engine consolidation. Will the customers receive a refund?
A8: Customers are not entitled to a refund because of the Computer Associates antivirus engine consolidation. The functionality of the Vet and InoculateIT antivirus engines is being delivered in a new single antivirus engine package.
Q9: Will the Computer Associates antivirus engine consolidation affect the pricing of Forefront Server Security or Antigen products?
A9: The Computer Associates antivirus engine consolidation will not affect the pricing of Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint, or Microsoft Antigen products.
Q10: When will the Forefront Server Security user interface be updated to remove the InoculateIT engine?
A10: Microsoft will update the user interface to enable customers to select only the new single Computer Associates antivirus engine. The user interface will be updated in the next service pack for Forefront Server Security and Antigen products.
Q11: Why did Computer Associates select the Vet antivirus engine going forward?
A11: Computer Associates determined that the Vet antivirus engine could better support the future integration of their malware and spyware or adware antivirus engines. Additionally, Computer Associates determined that the Vet antivirus engine could provide the most robust single antivirus engine for all-threat functionality.
Q12: When will Computer Associates deliver on the long-term strategy of a unified antivirus engine for malware and for spyware or adware?
A12: Computer Associates has not determined a date for the release of a unified antivirus engine for malware and for spyware or adware.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.