Due to the fast growing amount of malware out there in the wild our virus definition files grow fast as well. We monitored the situation with our Updates very closely. We realise that users of the free Avira AntiVir Personal had issues fetching the Updates in time recently and did come up with a few ideas how we could solve the problem and to better satisfy the needs of our users.
Two of the results are getting realized today: First, we switch from our current virus definition files (called iVDF) to a new format called nVDF. iVDF consists of 4 VDF files, while nVDF uses at least 32 files – we need to transfer less data for updating our virus definitions effectively in the future.
This means that we need to deliver about 25 MByte to every Avira installation starting today for switching to the new update system. This might lead to some delays for some users, especially for the users of our free version Avira AntiVir Personal. Just to get an idea about what we’re talking here: More than 100.000.000 Users are trying to get the update more or less on the same day. That is more than 2.5 Petabytes (or 2,500 Terabytes) of traffic.
To ease the bandwidth bottleneck, we decided to additionally use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). We were first testing a CDN built up by our current Internet service provider. Shortly after activating the CDN, the redirectors – which redirect the update requests to servers close to the users location – were overloaded and couldn’t answer the requests anymore. The situation was solved a little later on, but the CDN isn’t big enough yet to spread this huge update in time. So we decided to switch to a global player in the CDN market to deliver the update.
We hope that the data is transfered much faster this way so also the users of free Avira AntiVir Personal can enjoy their security solution without any problems: After this Update the situation will get much better for the users of Avira AntiVir Personal.
N.B.: Users of commercial Avira products like Avira AntiVir Premium, Avira Premium Security Suite or Avira AntiVir Professional don’t face any of these problems as they access our servers with reserved bandwidth.