Kitanihon Broadcasting Company

Agentless security solution for virtualized computing environment resolves VDI performance issues

Overview

KNB (Kitanihon Broadcasting) provides radio and television broadcasting services to the prefecture of Toyama, Japan and surrounding areas. Since opening in 1952, the company has continued to play an important role as a provider of media which supports regional communities. Its in-house programming is held in high esteem by audiences and external organizations, and it has won numerous awards, including the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association Award.

Heavy server load negatively impacted performance of virtual PCs in KNB’s VDI. Continued use of “old-fashioned” security solution after migrating its endpoints to VDI. Desired easy deployment and easy operation of endpoints, including security solution.

Agentless security solution helped to minimize server load, improving VDI performance. Implementing security solution unique to virtual environments offloaded resource intensive security processes to a virtual appliance. Wizards and manuals allow easy deployment and operation for IT staff.

Challenges

KNB (Kitanihon Broadcasting) plays an important role as a provider of media which supports local lifestyle, culture, and industry. One such example is the company establishing a new FM broadcast relay station, “KNB Radio+ FM90.2”, in December, 2014 in order to reach areas not served by AM radio and to provide support in the event of large-scale natural disasters.

KNB has made an active effort to deploy advanced IT in recent years, which has included the deployment of virtual technologies. In addition to a migration to virtual servers, the company has also moved to VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Client PCs for staff employ “VMware vSphere” and “Citrix XenDesktop” to optimize the complex operational management of PCs and reduce the labor needed for the task.

However, as the use of VDI widened, a new issue arose. The VDI was originally for PCs used in office duties, and its range of use gradually widened to include important procedures in mission critical tasks and programming. “We had around 20 instances at first, but we are now creating a large-scale VDI and that number has increased to approximately 180. Responsiveness deteriorated due to the increased load on servers and end users were complaining about the hassle caused by the delays,” explains KNB’s Toru Teranishi. PC responsiveness has a direct impact on work efficiency.

With Trend Micro we were able to successfully solve the pressing issue of VDI performance. Trend Micro Deep Security features superior operability and user enterprises which makes it easy to deploy and operate.

Toru Teranishi,
deputy manager
sales head office, organizational operations dept.
Kitanihon Broadcasting Co., Ltd.

Depending on the situation, this could affect business throughout the company. Consequently, KNB felt that it was necessary to improve the performance of the VDI as quickly as possible.

Solution

In order to improve the performance of the company’s VDI, KNB carefully checked the individual components used to construct the system one by one, and endeavored to solve infrastructure bottlenecks by deploying high-performance storage and caching software. As part of these efforts, KNB started to work on optimizing its security solutions.

The virus scan and pattern file updates conducted by antivirus software can cause VDI server overload, negatively impacting VDI responsiveness. In order to prevent such a situation, KNB attempted to perform virus scan during lunch hours. However, the process was not always completed when afternoon work hours resumed. Even configuring virus scans to run during eveningsdid not result in a fundamental solution to the problem. “Originally, we had the same structure for VDI as we had with physical PCs, with individual software running on each PC. However, we felt that because we had put in the effort to apply virtual technology, we should also have security solution that was appropriate to a virtual environment,” says Teranishi.

The company then investigated a number of security solutions. These investigations resulted in the adoption of “Trend Micro™ Deep Security™”.

Deep Security not only allows agent-based security, it also enables agentless security which does not deploy agents on every PC. By offloading security processes to virtual appliances on VMware, Deep Security minimizes the load on each virtual PC. “We could have continued to use our existing security product at a lower cost, but we were attracted to Deep Security because it enabled us to make full use of the special characteristics of virtual environments. We consequently decided to adopt the solution,” explains Teranishi.

We could have continued to use our existing security product at a lower cost, but we were attracted to Deep Security because it enabled us to make full use of the special characteristics of virtual environments. We consequently decided to adopt the solution.

Toru Teranishi,
deputy manager
sales head office, organizational operations dept.
Kitanihon Broadcasting Co., Ltd.

KNB is also highly impressed with Deep Security’s ease of use. Because the company constructs and operates systems in-house as much as possible, it wanted to avoid time-consuming solutions. “It is easy to deploy Deep Security by setting it up using a wizard. The solution also has more substantial manuals and training programs than most products from overseas companies. In fact, I was able to fully deploy it by myself,” explains Teranishi.

Results

KNB first used Deep Security for 20 virtual PCs. It plans to expand the scope of the solution in stages, and will eventually use Deep Security for approximately 180 virtual PCs.

The previous performance problems of the virtual PCs have been solved. “Users whose PCs employ Deep Security are reporting that the sluggishness of the past has gone and they are now able to perform their duties without hindrance. In addition to the performance improvement, applying Deep Security to more virtual PCs will result in cost benefits as well. We would like to widen the scope of Deep Security immediately,” says Teranishi.

With conventional security solutions, pattern file updates can occasionally fail due to lack of available resources on virtual PCs. Because Deep Security is an agentless solution, it prevents the PCs from experiencing this type of problem. This not only brings great results in terms of performance, it also strengthens overall endpoint security.

In addition, KNB’s previous agent-based antivirus software required a great amount of time to set up on each virtual PC; but this is not the case with the agentless approach used by Deep Security. “When we provision a new virtual PC, operations such as updating the master image registry and deploying an agent are completely unnecessary. Due to this advantage, the 15 minutes preparation time that it used to take for each PC is now zero. In addition, because we no longer need to perform any operations to always maintain the latest security with Deep Security, we have been able to dramatically reduce the burden of operational management,” says Teranishi.

At present, KNB is using the antivirus features of Deep Security. In the future, it plans to consider the other functions of Deep Security such as virtual patch for vulnerability.

“Now, we have completed the first stage of our VDI. In terms of securing our entire virtual environment, we have also realized the importance of enhancing our server security. We are relying on the abundant knowledge of Trend Micro to provide safe and secure working environments to our users,” concludes Teranishi, indicating the expectations that he places on Trend Micro.