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Do virus protection programs affect SQL Server performance?
Antivirus software can certainly create a bottleneck due to the program requiring too much CPU time -- especially if the server is also running an e-mail server or program that requires a lot of antivirus resources (not necessarily a best practice). It can also create file I/O problems if real-time scanning is enabled for all files that are opened. I definitely recommend running malware protection on a SQL Server (or any database server for that matter), but be sure to exclude your database directories (or specific database files) from the real-time protection if you can. Also, keep an eye out on processor utilization to make sure the malware protection is not eating up all the resources.