With the recent announcement of the release of Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010, we published a bevy of resources through different channels to prepare the way and bring you up to speed. In the interests of providing the community—our readers—a quick-and-easy way to access these resources, we’ve compiled a digest of items for your handy reference.
- The Server & Cloud Platform Team
We are extremely excited to announce that Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 (FEP) has released to manufacturing! Customers can access the RTM release on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) starting Jan. 1, 2011 -- or try the evaluation version immediately.
This is our first – and very significant – step in making the convergence of desktop security and management a reality. Customers using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 can now quickly and efficiently deploy, configure, manage, update, and report on FEP protections, helping to lower infrastructure costs and improve overall security. And since both products are included in the Enterprise CAL (ECAL), customers who purchase ECAL automatically get access to all the licenses they need to implement the solution. To make deployment easier, FEP will even identify and replace the existing antimalware agents you may have previously installed.
Customers have already begun seeing the advantages of bringing together powerful antimalware protection with their existing infrastructure for deploying, patching, and updating client systems. A large university medical center that participated in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP) said the following about their experience using FEP in their 50,000 desktop environment:
“We’re primarily a paperless organization. We need 100% uptime so that medical records, prescriptions, and all other documentation is available to our healthcare professionals. The single console for Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 [and System Center Configuration Manager 2007] gives me a view of our whole system and ensures that we can handle threats before they become an issue.”
There are a ton of new features to explore in this new release including award-winning antimalware protection (FEP uses same engine as Microsoft Security Essentials), vulnerability shielding, Windows firewall management, and, of course, integration with System Center Configuration Manager 2007. You can find more product details on our Web site or TechCenter. And for more information about convergence, please visit our new Windows Optimized Desktop page.
We hope that you will give FEP a test drive soon!
We are pleased to announce the release of Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 SP1, which includes key updates to the product, including: enhanced DirectAccess deployment and operation, improved monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as enhancements to publishing scenarios. Trial bits can be downloaded here. In addition, you can view additional details on TechNet to find out what’s new in Forefront UAG 2010 SP1.
- The Forefront Team
We’re just back from TechEd in Berlin where Brad Anderson announced the release candidate for Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010 during his keynote. During the session, Brad highlighted one of the key focus areas in this release - the convergence of security and management. FEP 2010 is deployed, configured, managed, updated, and reported on through System Center Configuration Manager 2007, allowing customers to streamline their client management and security operations. Using FEP to merge these disciplines, organizations can improve desktop protection and lower operational costs.
Since we’ve posted the release candidate, I’ve heard a lot of great feedback from trial customers (check out the Customer Evaluation Program), TechEd attendees, and TAP participants on the impact this convergence is already having on their businesses. Customers like Riga Stradins University tell us that the consolidated tools, processes, and infrastructure help them enable new efficiencies:
“The integration of management and security makes our IT organization more agile. We’re more efficient in the way that we use our personnel. We’ve increased the number of people available to respond to security incidents by 20% with no increase in headcount” – Kristaps Cudars, Principle Information Systems Architect
This use of FEP to drive new efficiencies is a persistent theme among the early adopters. With security as part of the console that in many cases they are already using, customers say that their dedicated management personnel can expand their efforts – easily, to help watch over security.
Another interesting comment on efficiency came from Telekom Slovenije. Like many organizations globally, Telekom Solvenije has a single team responsible for desktop management and endpoint security, but the tools they used required completely separate efforts. Already a Configuration Manager customer, and with a long-term contract for their existing anti-virus solution ending, they applied to join the FEP TAP program:
"We had separate silos for managing and securing the infrastructure, even though the same team was responsible for both… The integration of FEP with System Center Configuration Manager lets us break down the silos with our organization and increase efficiency” – Dragoslav Radin, Head of the Division for IT Infrastructure Services
These efficiencies, driven by convergence of security and management, not only allow administrators to do their jobs better and more quickly, as we’ve discussed here, but they also lower hardware, maintenance, and training costs through the use of a single, multi-purpose infrastructure. I hope you will download and try FEP in your environment.
The Release Candidate of Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010 shipped today and is now available for download here. FEP was built on Configuration Manager 2007 (R2 and R3 supported), so anyone with Configuration Manager deployed now has the unique ability to deliver desktop security on your existing infrastructure. Find out more on the System Center team blog.
- Forefront Team