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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Patch Management? I don't care for it but YOU should!

Patch Management! How exciting? Eagerly waiting up till the wee hours of the night on Patch Tuesdays, waiting for Microsoft to release the latest round of security patches and application fixes. I’m sure it’s like Christmas Eve EVERY SINGLE MONTH for Systems Administrators!

As a consultant though, who coincidentally doesn’t really care much for the holidays either (all the hustle and bustle of people shopping and deadlines for purchasing things – Bah, Humbug!), Patch Tuesdays don’t even raise an eyebrow for me. You see, I’m a project based consultant. I normally enter environments with a specific purpose and specific deliverables. Set up a solution, configure it, test it, document it, train the staff on it’s operations and then move on to the next project. When I implement a system, it is normally completely patched up with the latest build numbers, versions and security fixes. Honestly, patch management is not even on my radar (or in my scope). Sure, I know it will need to be done eventually, but it most likely will not be done by me… Yeah, maybe I’m a rotten consultant but I think I am much more like a typical consultant on a typical project at a typical client in a typical environment.

I have seen shrinking budgets that have pushed patch management to the bottom of most client’s priority lists. I think there is a misconception that you can just run Windows Update on your machines and keep them up to date. Of course if you manage 2 machines, go for it! But as you scale up, you DO need a patch management solution to keep your systems up to date and secure. As a consultant implementing solutions for clients, there is a reason that I am using the latest releases with up to date hotfixes and security patches. It helps ensure that the solution will not only be its most reliable and stable but also that software vendors will be able to support the solutions efficiently.

So I’m curious, when guys like me walk out of the building, are you (the client) putting in patch management solutions, clicking Windows Update every so often or just moving onto the next project (like me)?


Originally published on http://thwack.solarwinds.com/thread/53615 – Please direct any comments there.

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