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Innovation

Reef Hotel dumps Symantec AV for Sophos

The Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns has dumped its Symantec anti-virus and e-mail security products in favour of Sophos's offerings because the latter requires fewer system resources and "just works".The Sofitel-managed Reef Hotel and Casino, which is owned by ASX-listed Reef Casino Trust, is a 128 room, five star hotel with 500 staff.
Written by Munir Kotadia, Contributor on
The Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns has dumped its Symantec anti-virus and e-mail security products in favour of Sophos's offerings because the latter requires fewer system resources and "just works".

The Sofitel-managed Reef Hotel and Casino, which is owned by ASX-listed Reef Casino Trust, is a 128 room, five star hotel with 500 staff. It has 120 workstations, 10 Windows servers and had been using Symantec's enterprise anti-virus solution to protect it from unwanted malware.

Scott Harris, IT manager for the hotel told ZDNet Australia that after around three years of use he decided to test some alternative products. Although he said he didn't have any major problems with the Symantec products, Harris said the Sophos products had a number of advantages.

"What sold us in the end was that we asked for a trial with Sophos. We got straight through to their support in Australia, which was great," said Harris. "We downloaded the network version and only had to install it on one server -- then we could push everything out from that central location... it just works".

Harris said that compared to the Symantec set up, Sophos' products were less demanding on system resources, significantly reduced the amount of time it took to back up the company's Microsoft Exchange servers and cost less.

"The load on the computer -- both on servers and workstations was reduced... the updates for Symantec are sometimes 6MB, 7MB or 8MB while the Sophos updates are very small. Exchange backups were taking in excess of 12 hours per night but with the Sophos product it is down to three hours -- that was another big factor," said Harris.

One final benefit, according to Harris, was that as part of the licensing deal, the Hotel's 500 staff were eligible to use Sophos's security application on their home computers.

"The staff at home can configure their Sophos client to update from our company Web site -- that was a great deal," said Harris. "The trial was successful after a month so we looked at pricing and Sophos came in cheaper".

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