In this article, we’re looking at ways to manage the deployment of Microsoft system patches. If you’re a network administrator working in an enterprise environment then this guide is written for you.
We’ll start by analyzing the risks involved when updating multiple systems. Then we’ll look at patch management software with a focus on my own favorite tool BatchPatch. Here we go…
Those two little words mean nothing to 90% of the public but send a chill down the spine of network administrators worldwide!
On the second Tuesday of each month, Microsoft releases the latest round of patches for their Windows range of operating systems. The company has a strong record for testing and vetting these patches prior to release. Most are perfect first time and integrate seamlessly into the system environment.
But There’s Always a But!
Anyone who’s worked in IT for any period of time will know that this isn’t always the case. Patches are designed to correct errors in the code of the OS but occasionally they introduce new problems of their own. When deploying patches across a large number of computers the potential for problems is increased.
In an enterprise environment where a network can include over a thousand linked terminals, this risk becomes an accident waiting to happen.
Time to Take Back Control!
The answer is to use a patch management tool to deploy updates in a selective and controlled fashion. I highly recommend BatchPatch for this task.
Many businesses consider Microsoft’s own solution WSUS to be too basic for their needs. Of the third-party products available BatchPatch stands out.
The Cocobolo team has focused less on developing a pretty user-interface and more on building a strong and reliable solution to a real-world problem. As well as delivering on its core functionality the tool comes with a host of other uses that raise it above the competition.
The primary use of the software is the managed, remote deployment of Windows patches to multiple systems across a network. Additional remote functions include:
- Third-party patching (e.g. Adobe, Java)
- Script execution
- Registry key addition/modification
- Task scheduling
- Event-log retrieval
- And much more..
With its focus on straight-forward functionality, I rate BatchPatch as the tool of choice for discerning network admins.
Working with this software you will now find it possible to push updates onto selected groups of machines across your network. The added features such as event log retrieval make an analysis of any ‘side-effects’ an easy process.
Software conflicts and other potential issues can be monitored from a single networked terminal. When you have compatibility tested all updates with a select range of machines BatchPatch can push the updates to every system on your network.
It’s Time to Change!
This kind of centralized deployment is a must for any modern business. If you’re still stuck running from machine to machine the switch to managed deployment will be a game-changer in terms of efficiency.
Keen to take the strain out of ‘Patch Tuesday’? My advice is to analyze, plan and move forward ASAP!