Network World evaluated several Patch Management tools on
March 3rd. PatchLink Update won the Blue Ribbon Award. Also, none of our
customers were hit by Slammer. PatchLink Update's flexibility helped it best
three other products tested.
Please see the attached link to read about our Blue Ribbon
Award from Network World Fusion for Patch Management . http://www.nwfusion.com/reviews/2003/0303patchrev.html
Windows patch management tools
PatchLink Update's flexibility helped it best three other
By Mandy Andress, Network World Global Test
Network World, 03/03/03
With Microsoft releasing more than 230 security bulletins
since the beginning of 2000 - most of those requiring some sort of corrective
action to fix a hole in one of its Windows-based products - the numbers speak
for themselves: Windows patch management in an enterprise environment is a
We tested four stand-alone Windows patch management products -
BigFix's Enterprise Suite, Gravity Storm Software's Service Pack Manager 2000,
PatchLink's Update and Shavlik Technologies' HfNetChk Pro to find out if they
improve patch deployment. (See "Not in the game" for declining vendors.)
Patch management tools should identify accurately which
patches are missing on each system, provide an easy means to deploy patches
and provide administrative reports tracking patch status across multiple
The products we tested (see How we did it) attack the problem
in two ways - with or without agent software. Agent-based products - such as
those from PatchLink and BigFix - can greatly reduce network traffic by
offloading processing and analysis to the target system, saving data until it
needs to report to the central server. But they also force an administrator to
manage software on all systems the product analyzes.
With agentless products - such as those from Shavlik and
Gravity Storm - you don't have any distributed management issues, but whenever
a scan is requested all tests and communications travel over the network. If
scanning a domain with a large number of systems, the increase in network
traffic can be quite significant.
PatchLink's Update 4.0 earned the Network World Blue
Ribbon award for its ease of use, flexibility, automation and letting you
easily create deployment packages.
PatchLink has two components - PatchLink Update Server and the
agent. The Update Server is installed on a Windows 2000 Server with SP2 and
Internet Information Server (IIS). The installation process sets up a
Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) database, which can be upgraded to a full SQL
Server after installation. This upgrade is recommended for large
You easily can push the agents to targeted machines using the
Agent Install Wizard, or agents can be installed during the logon process.
For management purposes, administrators connect to the
PatchLink server through a Web interface, which lets you view reports, deploy
packages, create packages and view system inventory.
PatchLink, the company, monitors Microsoft and other vendors,
such as Citrix Systems and Adobe, for newly released patches. PatchLink
engineers test the patches, put them into PatchLink's proprietary package
format and deploy them to customers' local PatchLink servers through a
periodic subscription-checking process, which occurs over Secure Sockets Layer
at a time the administrator configures.
Administrators receive e-mail informing them of a new patch on
the PatchLink server. If it is a critical patch, it also is downloaded to the
Update Server on the customer's network. Noncritical patches will be
downloaded at the administrator's request.
PatchLink automatically caches critical patches on the Update
Server, a marked difference from BigFix and the agentless products. Caching
patches is useful and the recent Sapphire/Slammer SQL Server worm proves the
point. If a worm or other malicious act is taking place that slows down the
Internet, how will administrators download patches to their critical servers?
With cached patches, you already have the files at your location.
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PatchLink Update Awarded Blue Ribbion from Network World
For the article go to:
PatchLink Update Receives Network Computing Editor's Choice
Award for Patch Management
For the article go to: