Sophos Virtualization Security Review

Good performance, scalable, and multi-platform


What is our primary use case?

They have two deployment models for this solution. The first is the full package endpoint, on-premises solution. This gives the customer all of its security features, like the ability to lock down servers. This is a resource-heavy deployment.

The second type of deployment is the SVM (Security Virtual Machine) solution. This is a virtual appliance. We install it to allow communication between all of the virtual machines and the management, also. This deployment will not give the customer all of the features available in the full package.

The choice between deployment models is based on the environment, with a focus on performance. If the server is facing the internet then we do not recommend using the SVM. On the other hand, if this server has restricted access then we recommend deploying the SVM solution.

Our deployment is on-premises in our hospital's data center.

What is most valuable?

The SVM deployment has very good performance.

What needs improvement?

The solution would be improved if all of the advanced features were included in the SVM.

If we install the full package on multiple servers then it will demand resources for each one from the host machine. For example, if we scan five systems at once then it will slow down the performance of the host, and the other VMs will be affected by this scan.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

If they are using Sophos Central then they are using the cloud solution and they do not need to plan for expanding their solution.

If they are using the on-premises solution then the number of hosts might increase, and they will have to upgrade the management console on the server.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward if we are talking about the full package deployment because we only deploy the endpoint package, like the on-premises solution.

If on the other hand, we are talking about the SVM, it will take some time and it will need some configuration. For someone who is not technical, it will be difficult to do it. This is because you have to have more knowledge with respect to the host where it will be deployed. For example, in VMware you have to have knowledge in this area, and similarly, with Hyper-V or with Citrix, you need knowledge of the respective platform. This is the issue.

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

For virtualization security, the cost is approximately $50 USD per seat.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to take care when choosing the deployment model. They have to know which restrictive access servers and which published servers are needed to get the most security and the most performance.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from working with this solution is that all of the virtualization platforms are equal. It is just a change in the name. When running optimally, they are all the same, but the configuration may be different.

There is now a firewall inside the virtual platform, which is something that didn't exist before. We have to enable each security tool to access it offline and make sure that it is working. This is the most important area to ensure that the solution works smoothly. They have to read the documentation very well and find which areas they have to give access to. The need to let the SVM do its job without any interruption from the security of the platform.

It is important to remember that security is different between platforms, whether it is VMware, Hyper-V, or otherwise.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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