Installing and Using Forefront Protection Server Management Console 2010 – Part 2

In a previous post, we took a look at Microsoft’s Forefront product line and saw where the new server management tool: Forefront Protection Server Management Console (FPSMC) fit in.  In this article, we will install FPSMC.

Before we start clicking, I’d like to point out a few important notes:

  • FPSMC cannot be deployed on a domain controller, an FPE server or an FPSP server.
  • FPSMC will not install on a server running any other Forefront product.
  • FPSMC will only support FPE and FPSP. It will not manage Forefront Security for Exchange server v10.x, Forefront Security for SharePoint v10.x and Antigen for Exchange and SMPT v9.x products – these still require Forefront Server Security Management Console (FSSMC).
  • FPSMC cannot redistribute the Cloudmark micro-updates.
  • FPSMC Beta will only support up to 100 servers per management console deployment.
  • FPSMC UI requires JavaScript to be enabled.
  • FPSMC must be installed on a domain-joined server.
  • FPSMC will not install on a server running any version of Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SharePoint Server.

As well as some system requirements:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • 300MB free RAM
  • 30MB free disk space (for the console)
  • 900MB free disk space (for SQL)
  • 4GB free disk space (for signature distribution)
  • .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 or later
  • Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • IIS (for subcomponents visit TechNet)
  • SQL Express installs by default, but a licensed version of SQL recommended

You’ll also want to create a service account for the encryption of data between primary and backup servers.

Once you’ve got the above prerequisites in place, you’ll run the setup file and complete the product installation.  In the below demonstration, I did not deploy a SQL server, so the installer configured SQL 2008 Express on my behalf.  Additionally, if you do not have the Chart Control component listed above, you’ll be given a link to go get it.

Here are the installation screenshots:

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Once the installation has completed, a program shortcut will be placed in the Start menu’s program list.  You can launch FPSMC from here, or directly via the following hyperlink:

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In the next article, we’ll discuss adding and managing servers running Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010.

Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Release Candidate / Release Date

UPDATE: It looks like this is scheduled to release 12/17.2010 (FEP and FPSMC are due to launch together)

UPDATE2: RTM: http://blogs.technet.com/b/clientsecurity/archive/2010/12/16/announcing-the-release-of-forefront-endpoint-protection-2010.aspx

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Recently I wrote about changes to Microsoft’s file-level antivirus product, FEP.  This is just a quick update to inform everyone that Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 is now in release candidate stage and is due to RTM in December.

Additionally, this will release with the Forefront Endpoint Protection- Security Management Pack, for those of you using SCOM.

Read more here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/clientsecurity

Installing and Using Forefront Protection Server Management Console 2010

Do you use Forefront products to protect your Exchange or SharePoint environment?  Do you have more than one server that you’d like to manage centrally?

If your answer is “yes” to both of those questions, this post is for you!  In this multi-part article, I’ll show you how to install and use Microsoft’s latest (free) Forefront management product:

Forefront Protection Server Management Console (FPSMC) 2010 (Release Candidate)

However, before we start, I’d like to provide you with some Forefront orientation.  It seems that title “Forefront” is starting to mean so many things these days.  Hopefully this table will help put some of the product names into perspective:image

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That’s quite the moving target for us trying to learn!!

As you can see FPSMC has had a few different names so far.  In fact, Microsoft was going to release this as “Forefront Protection Manager”.  Talk about an identity crisis!

Now, if you are familiar with the existing Forefront Server Security Management Console (FSSMC) product, take a moment to note the differences between it and the new FPSMC:

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So now that you have some background, let’s get on with it, shall we?

As I suggested above, FPSMC is a product we’d install to centralize our management of Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server and SharePoint.  It does this through a web-interface, SQL and FPSMC agents running on each Forefront-protected server.

For a brief intro on the console, read this help article excerpt:

…[FPSMC] deployment allows administrators to deploy various files and settings to all or selected servers in the enterprise. Using the FPSMC, you can deploy the following to remote servers:

  • FPE and FPSP service packs and patches
  • Policies for configuration management
  • Forefront Protection product activation keys
  • Scan engine signature file updates (to centralize the update procedure)
  • Jobs that send reports on a fixed schedule

In addition, you can retrieve the following from remote servers:

  • Quarantined data.
  • Centralized reporting allows administrators to more closely monitor the servers in the enterprise and evaluate the effectiveness of antivirus software. The FPSMC collects statistics from all of its managed servers and stores them in a central repository for later analysis. Reports provide information about the trends in virus, filter, and update activity for each individual server or the entire enterprise.

Data retrieved by FPSMC will be stored in Microsoft SQL Server®. It can be stored in SQL Server 2008 Express Edition, which is a version of SQL Server with limited features. Alternately, data can also be stored on an existing Enterprise SQL Server 2008—locally or remotely—using SQL or Microsoft Windows® authentication.

In addition to the help article, here are some additional published resources on this product:

    While we’re on the topic of centralized Forefront Server Protection management, I’d like to point out that while we wait for this FPSMC Release Candidate to go Gold, you can manage your multi-server deployment with these scripts:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/fss/archive/2010/08/09/microsoft-forefront-protection-server-script-kit-now-available-for-download.aspx

We’ll compare the scripts to the new FPSMC product later in this article.

In the next part of this article, we’ll identify the prerequisites for FPSMC and begin our installation.

Read Part 2: http://wp.me/pAAoj-8h

Exchange 2010 SP1 Edge Transport & TMG 2010 SP1 Issue: Fixed.

Microsoft released Exchange 2010 SP1 a few weeks ago and quickly followed up with the following post of oops! known issues: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/09/01/456094.aspx

One of these issues is that you cannot combine TMG 2010 with Edge 2010 after you apply Exchange 2010 SP1.

It would seem this is now fixed, as Microsoft released “Software Update 1 for Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010 Service Pack 1” earlier today.

Personally I’ve been disappointed with the “integration” of TMG and Edge, but if you are using this configuration, go grab this update here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=695D0709-0D8B-45EE-AFDB-727C4428CA4D&displaylang=en

For more info on this update see: What’s new in Forefront TMG 2010 Update 1.

What’s New With Microsoft’s File-Level Antivirus?

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UPDATE 12-16-2010:

RTM’ed today: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ff182914.aspx

Read more here.

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Many of you know that Microsoft’s file-level antivirus product is changing. For those who don’t, here are some high-level points you all should be aware of:

· Forefront Client Security is now Forefront Endpoint Protection (beta)

· Its delivered as a software package via SCCM and SCCM only.

· The management of it is done via SCCM. (Need 2007 R2/SP2 or later)

· It’s free* (provided you own SCCM).

*Last I heard. This isn’t official until it RTMs *It’s free for eCAL users

· You don’t need more servers beyond what you already have for SCCM (Functionally speaking; performance may dictate)

· The client is nearly identical to Microsoft Security Essentials

· The client installer will seek and destroy uninstall Symantec, MacAfee, Trend Micro and old Forefront (FCS) versions if found.

· It will (soon) have pre-canned lists of exclusions for products like Exchange and SharePoint.

For more info you may consider watching this webcast (skip to 13 minutes in to get to the technical stuff):

TechNet Webcast: Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010: Features and Protection Technologies (Level 300)