We have been using Microsoft Forefront for almost three (3) years now and so far we are very satisfied with it. From a cost perspective, it very economical when packaged with our Microsoft software licenses. Microsoft's new license subscription option for schools even made it more value for money, as we can now install it on all university computers.Performance wise, it's one of the most effective anti-virus solutions we have ever used. It's very effective in cleaning viruses and malware without removing system files. As a result, we can recover servers faster and without the need to do a repair installation. We have used Free, Open source and Kaspersky anti-virus before, but Microsoft Forefront has the best integration between the OS and Anti-virus application.
Room for Improvement:
In our experience, you really need a local Windows Update Server so that product and definintion updates can be easily downloaded. Without it, the client seems to update very slowly and may take a lot of time. Also, you need to have a license agreement with Microsoft for you to be able to use Forefront. It's technically the same as Security Essentials, but you can centrally management Forefront instances installed on different computer on the campus.I would definitely recommend Microsoft Forefront if you have a Microsoft license agreement. It will not only save you on cost, it will also give you an enterprise anti-virus system which can be centrally administered as well.
Just make sure you set-up an internal Windows update server to prevent each client from consuming a lot of bandwidth downloading updates from Microsoft's servers. It is not required but also highly recommended to set-up a management and reporting server to be able to have a picture of all threats being faced in your company.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Nov 23 2012