By Mark Burnett It was just a few years ago that I complained that patch management shouldn’t be something we have to think about to use a PC. I trust my local lube shop to keep my car’s fluid levels topped off. I trust my lawn service to spray my lawn with the appropriate treatment each month. And I trust my financial software to keep my checkbook balanced. I wanted to trust someone else to keep my system patched.
I got my wish. In fact, I got so much of my wish that now the market is flooded with patch-management solutions. Last year, I wrote an article (now out-of-date) comparing patch-management systems. By the time it got published, the number of available products had nearly doubled.
And that’s not counting all the general system-management software that’s added patch management to its feature list. My new problem is deciding which solution, out of all these, is best for me. There’s no single best answer
If you investigate some of the available applications, you’ll see that they vary greatly in price, features, automation, and product support. Some solutions only work well for small networks, while others aren’t worth the cost and trouble unless you manage several thousand workstations.
Some systems require too much user interaction, while others are so automated that you can’t interact with them even if you want to.
Before you even start looking at different products, take a minute to look at your patch-management requirements. Below are some of the things to consider. Product support
Perhaps the most important feature to consider is product support. Each patc