Using the Antigen Client (Sybari) Within Your SharePoint Environment and ACM

* This article was written in the context of Sybari Antigen For SharePoint, a technology now considered deprecated with the introduction of Forefront Security for SharePoint 2010. Variations may exist. *

Using the Antigen Client (Sybari) Within Your SharePoint Environment

There are two relevant clients of Antigen for SharePoint that will allow a SharePoint or network administrator to configure, monitor, and tweak the services of Antigen so that it can be tailored to an arbitrary enterprise communications and collaborations environment. The two client interfaces that are used when configuring and administrating Antigen are the:
  • Sybari Client
  • Antigen Central Manager (ACM)
There are also other programmatic efforts that can be used to manipulate the Antigen environment in order to structure it to your corporate requirements, such as the WebParts that are available through sharepointsecurity.com. 
 
There are two main ways to open the Sybari client and connect this front end to your Antigen instance.
The first is through the start menu:
 
Start — All Programs — Sybari Software — Sybari Client
 
The second way is through the command prompt.
 
Run CMD — cd program filesSybari Software Antigen for SharePoint — sybariclient.exe
 
Both of which will invoke the Sybari client, so it is a matter of preference how you invoke the client for Antigen management and administrative purposes.
 
If you are running the Sybari client on the SharePoint machine, you can connect to local instance by selecting local, or if you want to connect remotely to the Antigen instance simply select in the server name where your Antigen service is running. Most times, this client will be invoked on the local server that is running Antigen, however for some corporation it makes better sense for a person to invoke the client out of the administrative workstation. This installation option is available when launching the Antigen installation process, simple run the same .iso or CD that was used to install Antigen and choose the client tools.
 
Once you launch the Sybari Antigen client application, you will see the main interface with four main options on the right. These options are for a SharePoint or network administrator to drilldown into further functionality of the Antigen services, and to make appropriate judgment regarding configuration of antivirus options.
 
By default, the first pane you encounter when the client first starts is the settings pane, which is the most used pane for configuration of your Antigen services. You will find that you use this option more than any option when using Antigen, which can be seen through the remaining articles included on this site.
 
Using the Antigen ActiveX Control Within Your SharePoint Environment 
If you want to monitor your Antigen environment from within your SharePoint environment, from a web interface (i.e. a WebPart page), you can do so if you enterprise security settings allow you to do so (i . This can be accomplished by instantiating the ActiveX object provided by the Antigen software within a WebPart page. The ActiveX client allows you the option to monitor and configure your Antigen instance from within this webpage, so that if you need a convenient way to access it without installing it on all of your SharePoint administrator and developer workstation you can do so. This option of remote administration is a powerful option to extend your environment administration possibilities.
 
In order to install the ActiveX client into your SharePoint environment, you will need to properly install and inject the object. Firstly, you will need to expose the ActiveX object to your server, by unzipping the ActiveX client and releasing it into a directory being exposed by your IIS instance, typically within your Inetpub –> wwwroot directory. This can vary depending on your environment, but the ActiveX client will need to be able to be exposed at the web level. Afterwards, set the DCOM impersonation level to impersonate. Lastly, open up FrontPage or Microsoft SharePoint Designer, and choose the insert option. Choose web component — advanced controls — ActiveX control — and choose the Antigen ActiveX control, this will expose the ActiveX control within your WebPart page.
 
Using the Antigen Central Manager (ACM)
The other major client within the Antigen environment is Antigen Central Manager (ACM) which will allow you to create the job files that need to be deployed to correctly configure the Antigen environment. This job files are suffixed with the file extension .job, and are produced and managed through this user interface. It is important to realize that the .job files that are used by Antigen must be created through this interface, so as a standard always rely on the Antigen Central Manager to create these files. To invoke the Antigen Central Manager interface, navigate to:
 
Start — All Program — Sybari Software — Antigen Central Manager
 
This will bring up a small interface, and since it may be the first time you are using the Antigen Central Manager, there may not be jobs that are currently populated within the bottom portion of the interface. Continue onto the jobs section on this site to learn about configuring your first Antigen job.
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Introduction to Microsoft Data Protection Manager Integration With SharePoint

* This article was written in the context of System Center Data Protection Manager 2006 (SCDPM), a technology now considered deprecated with the introduction of System Center Data Protection Manager 2007. Variations may exist. *

Introduction to Microsoft Data Protection Manager Marriage with SharePoint
A proper SharePoint environment should encompass all aspects involved in a traditional networked computing infrastructure; particularly since SharePoint is or will become the chief repository for business information. One of the most overlooked aspects however of a SharePoint environment is that of disaster recovery and proper data restoration processes in case of an emergency to mitigate several levels of risks.
 
We don’t have a SharePoint disaster recovery plan, and aren’t really looking to spend any more additional funds on our SharePoint deployment, so would prefer to negate the requirement.
 
How many times has it been heard with enterprises implementing SharePoint?
 
SharePoint Disaster Recovery Isn’t an Option, It’s a Requirement   
Having a disaster recovery plan for your SharePoint deployment isn’t an option; it’s a necessity in order to protect precious enterprise data. Enterprises will expunge an unlimited amount of funds extending the rich functionality of SharePoint, however when it comes to actually setting up methods and procedures that are meant to enhance the security and disaster recovery of a portal, the benefits of it seem negligible.
 
This is one of the biggest fallacies that exist within implementing a communications and collaborations platform within a company. Not having mechanisms that facilitate recovery of your critical business data will not only cause your network and SharePoint administrators hesitation, but if any type of disaster occurs, you will only have remedial mechanisms to work with to bring line of business applications back to your information workers that need it.
 
There are three main things that we wish to gain out of a DPM implementation in relation to our SharePoint environment:
  1. Provide Uninterrupted and Constant Data Protection
  2. Provide Easy Mechanisms for Backup Restoration Intended for Both Users and Administrators
  3. Provide Mechanisms For Central Management For Data Protection Mechanisms
Provide Uninterrupted and Constant Data Protection  
With disk-to-tape backups, constant data protection is not possible since users are typically leveraging the portal at undetermined times and the amount of data that changes within a SharePoint portal happen at all times during the day, tapes are usually meant to run at arbitrary times within an enterprise. Exporting the data to a flat file and protecting it with DPM however a viable option is. Similarly, you can schedule the SQL backups through various clients or use the SharePoint backup utility to create scheduled backups that are stored on a file server which can then be protected with DPM.
 
Provide Easy Mechanisms for Backup Restoration Intended for Both Users and Administrators
DPM provides mechanisms that allow a user and administrator to easily restore backup files using a windows explorer like interface. These tools interact with the speed and reliability of using the DPM backup mechanisms, allowing backups to be granular restored depending on the permissions that you see fit.  Notifications and reports can also be sent to users that you deem are necessary to see such metrics.
 
Provide Mechanisms For Central Management For Data Protection Mechanisms
Interaction between DPM and Microsoft Operations Manager offer more granular control over your backup strategy and relevant servers (such as your backup file server and your DPM servers as a whole). There are inherit tools that allow you to generate DPM relevant reports, fine tune your DPM environment by examining backup metrics, and enable notifications for possible problems within your backup environment.
 
Assuming you are using SharePoint, it can also be assumed that you are also leveraging the Microsoft Operations Framework, which plays a pivotal functional within the management of aggregate IT assets and overall SharePoint operations.  It is important to realize the MOF is like the MSF (Microsoft Solutions Framework), in that it is an approach of best practices and approaches to your environment, and not an actual bundled piece of software. There are four main portions that exist within the Microsoft Operations Framework, optimizing, changing, supporting, and operating. In relation to the marriage of Data Protection Manager and SharePoint, we are concerned with two main quadrants of this, supporting and operating since we are concerned about supporting our line of business applications and communications and colorations environment and operating since we must provide our user with the environment which enables virtual teams so that process within the enterprises can remain optimal.
 
The SharePoint Backup and Restoration Process Using Data Protection Manager The DPM Backup Process 
The backup and restore process for protecting your SharePoint environment depends greatly on the data that you consider to have a low user tolerance for loss, and that which can be restored by using SharePoint media (such as SharePoint file stores). However, in an arbitrary backup process involving a backup of our SQL databases:
  1. SharePoint SQL files are exported to flat files and placed onto a protected share on the file server (support for SQL will be built in the second half of 2007)
  2. DPM will create a replica of these sources on the DPM server
  3. The changed data is sent back and forth between the file server and the DPM server
  4. DPM will also create shadow copies which allow revision control over point in time backups
This backup process will allow a user to choose which revision to restore either from the administrator or client console.
 
The DPM Restore Process
The restore process using Data Protection Manager can happen either from a user or as the DPM administrator.
  1. A SharePoint user or DPM administrator will choose a specified SQL backup to restore from a client tool that resembles the Windows Explorer interface
  2. DPM will restore the backup to the file server where it can be re-imported into the SQL database
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