Pre-test and approve patches for hassle-free deployment

Why is it important to test patches before deployment?

Testing patches before deployment is perhaps the most critical step in patch management process. As much as we want all applications updated, we need to be careful about how we introduce a new patch update into the application environment. The trick is to protect your systems as much as possible from vulnerabilities, without putting them at a different kind of risk from untested patches. Remember you need to analyze a few 'what if' scenarios before deploying patches to your network:

  • What if the patches are not compatible with the installed software?
  • What if the patches cause unprecedented issues on endpoints in production environment post deployment?
  • What if the patches are not successfully deployed in the production environment?

Thus, finding the perfect applications for your company, and determining how well updates to them will work, might also turn into a kind of odyssey. IT administrators have to also ensure that systems are up to date, and that all patches have been installed. Sometimes, though, patches may not install successfully, or will even cause breakages in the functioning of the software application. This makes the administrator’s job tougher, as they might have to repair all damaged software if the issue is patch breakages, or in the case of failing of patches at all systems, redeploy the patches. To solve this problem, Patch Manager Plus supports test driving patches before rolling them out to your production environment.
To test or not to test is no longer the question when you use a patching tool like Patch Manager Plus.

How to test and approve patches with Patch Manager Plus?

Using the 'Test and approve' feature, administrators can test the patches on a small group of test computers before deploying them to the whole network. Since APD helps automate the patch deployment function for administrators, they can also automate the testing of the patches on the test groups. This testing can be performed for patches of specific applications, or for all patches, and the deployment will be done automatically (after the set time frame by the customer) if the patch installation was successful in the test group. Hence, the whole patch management workflow will become completely automated–from testing on a group, to installation of the patch over the entire network.

  1. Create test groups to test patches on a small number of computers before approving them for deployment.
  2. Once the patches are successfully deployed to the test groups, you can choose to approve them either manually or automate the approval process.
  3. If patch deployment has failed, then the patches will not be approved.
  4. Patch deployment will be done automatically if the patch installation was successful in a test group.

Hence, the whole patch testing and approval workflow will become completely automated –from testing patches on a group, to installation of the patch over the entire network.