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AV for MSSQL

Posted on 2014-11-26
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Last Modified: 2014-12-03
I have seen a few articles about aligning the configuration of your servers anti virus with microsofts recommendations, namely MS recommend excluding certain paths and file types from you scanning process. Out of interest, what is the risk if you don't exempt such directories, what could go wrong? what file types and paths do you exclude?
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Question by:pma111
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Vitor Montalvão earned 250 total points
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Follow the Microsoft recommendations in 100%. The risk is the AV performing a full scan in a file that your application needs and would create locks. I saw that happening few times and trust me, isn't good to see hundreds of blocking processes and unhappy clients. It can also throw the CPU usage to 100% and that's no good either.
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by:PadawanDBA
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So most of the proverbs around anti-virus on SQL servers revolve around performance.  One of the jobs of a DBA (especially ops DBAs) is to ensure that data access is provided with the lowest possible latency to satisfy business needs.  The impact of anti-virus on SQL Server is mostly performance.  To optimize performance you go without it - there really shouldn't be much in the way of an attack surface area on your SQL Servers, it should be abstracted from direct access via an application layer that controls public data access and you shouldn't be installing much/anything else beyond SQL Server on it.  That said, security-minded folks will skewer you alive for such statements and in some companies it may not be possible to go without anti-virus.  That said, you have to make the best of whatever world you live in.  That means optimizing anti-virus applications to have as minimal a footprint on the core performance-driving aspects of SQL Server.  I would propose that the driver is mainly performance.  As to what file types/paths do you exclude, this is a pretty exhaustive list: http://blogs.technet.com/technet_blog_images/b/sql_server_sizing_ha_and_performance_hints/archive/2014/01/16/sql-server-and-anti-virus-best-practices-recommendations-for-exlusion-lists-for-anti-virus-scanner.aspx
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