Review: ViRobot Management Server

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ViRobot is a lesser-known anti-virus solution from Korean developer Global HAURI. It is not really a newcomer - it has been in the market since 1998 - but it has taken until recent times to really start to make a mark in Western markets.

ViRobot is a lesser-known anti-virus solution from Korean developer Global HAURI. It is not really a newcomer - it has been in the market since 1998 - but it has taken until recent times to really start to make a mark in Western markets.

We tested the ViRobot Management Server, which is a Windows-based control interface overseeing the activities of desktop agents, server- and gateway-AV.

The management environment is multi-tier. Servers communicate policies and updates to sub-servers, which then propagate the configuration out to clients. Sub-servers are optional, but the scalability potential is immediately impressive. The various sub-domains are configured in a 'org chart' which takes a little getting used to but makes organizing and coordinating the management process a lot easier.

The installer rejected my attempt to provide a blank admin password, which is good, but the error was puzzling, claiming we had omitted the username and department. This was to persist: the biggest downfall of the product is its translation and GUI consistency. At times it's a bit like watching subtitled Anime cartoons. In contrast, the language of the online documentation is much better.

Some of the dialogue boxes look like they were translated by Babelfish ("Please create Department Information (ORG Chart) for systematize organization.") and there are oddities like a (very useful) 'lock console' command concealed under the Help menu.

But once you have your head around that, the interface itself is simply superb. Fast, clean and logically laid out, it has all the major management tasks close to hand, including pushing out updates and reporting incidents. Combined with the scalability of the system, you have a really strong contender for managing anti-virus in large environments.

As a plus, there are remote control facilities which allow the administrator to browse files on remote PCs, conduct software and hardware audits, exchange messages with users and even take control of remote systems.

Messaging is all done in clear text on the network, and although remote control requires the user's acceptance, some stronger security procedures may be necessary to thwart social engineering attacks.

For:

Powerful and intuitive interface, bundled remote control.


Against:

GUI translation.


Verdict:

Scalable, flexible and easy to use. What more do you want?

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