McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator Review

Can manage a very complex environment requiring fine tuning with a lot of exceptions


What is our primary use case?

It is an endpoint protection product. You use it to centrally manage security policies and push out configurations, then you manage the antivirus on endpoints.

We use the on-premise deployment model.

How has it helped my organization?

If you're talking about endpoint, you have virus detection, behavioral-based detection in advanced threat detection, and even have host-based firewall, etc. Each of these would be a separate product that would integrate into the endpoint solution. From a cost perspective that would scale pretty quickly, which is not cheap. Also, it creates management overhead. We have to administer and configure it separately with a separate lists of policies. This is where it gets a bit complex, but it gives us the power to do things very specific. 

What is most valuable?

Once you understand how to use it, it becomes easy to use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the product for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is solid. It's a bit of a beast. We've used it in a very large environment where we manage around 150,000 endpoints, and it is able to cope with the load. It helps that our architecture around it is pretty solid. So, it works like a charm. 

There have been some issues with bugs and things from a functionality perspective. However, there are issues with everything.

It will become stable. We have had very specific issues. I am not blaming the product, as it could be the way the product is configured. There have been bugs and utilization problems where it may not be compatible with a certain operating system. You might find that there are certain processes that are just chewing up a lot of memory. There are known issues and errors. Things that do exist. We have seen this things quite often. It's just a matter of McAfee releasing a hotfix or stable version, which then needs to be tested and deployed correctly. We've been seeing quite a few of these.

These are systems with developer workstations or developer system services and are highly resource heavy. So, the API always has an impact.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have 150,000 endpoints using an agent handler in between. The scalability does require us to do a lot of planning for things, like bandwidth. The problem is with the complexity. If one thing breaks, it can also impact a bunch of other things.

It serves a purpose. If you set it up right, it can really manage a very complex environment which require fine tuning where there are a lot of exceptions. That's what it caters to. It can just do those specifics in those exceptional situations, which is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

While there are bugs and a few functionality issues, it is just a matter of raising them with the support team. However, support is part of the problem as well. You want everything to be seamless in a perfect world, but the support is spread across different countries. They have Level 1, 2, and 3. Level 1 is most likely in a developing country. They don't provide the best service.

Struggles like this impact the experience. If you have an issue, you want to get expedited within a certain amount of time. Sometimes, it just takes longer to get things done.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to deploy. This does depend on the complexity of your environment, and it depends on how you set it up. You can make it as granular as you want. 

It is not something that's very easy to administer. You have to go for a course with training modules. Once you understand how to use it, it becomes easy. For a beginner, it's not that easy. It's a very complex system. If you know what you're doing, it becomes easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You get what you pay for.

McAfee tries to package different things into different products, then sell them as different products with different licenses. They just split everything up into multiple things. That's just their sales pitch and how they do it.

What other advice do I have?

It does provide a lot of functionality. 

ePO Cloud takes away a lot of the management administration overhead. Though, I haven't tried this feature.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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