St. Bernard UpdateExpert 6.3
The less time administrators spend worrying about Windows patching, the better, even though the task is critical to keeping out worms, viruses and other threats.
Responding to this need, vendors offered some solid products in the automated patch management arena last year. However, one product stands above the rest. For the second consecutive year, St. Bernard Software's UpdateExpert 6.3 has won the Gold Award in the security category of TechTarget's Windows Products of the Year.
UpdateExpert 6.3, a tool that automatically keeps Microsoft operating systems and applications patched and updated, scored exceptionally high marks among judges and stood out predominantly for its ease of use, value and integration qualities.
UpdateExpert 6.3 makes the task of patching Windows systems easier by automating the "query, patch, validate, report" process. It chooses servers and workstations to manage; selects required patches based on pre-defined policies; tests patch deployment in test environments; reports potential issues; deploys patches; issues conformance reports, and validates patches.
UpdateExpert 6.3 allows both agentless and agent-based implementations. Agent-based implementation, the most common method, requires a software component (agent) on each client being monitored and patched, providing greater bandwidth control. Agentless uses a central server to scan all clients to assess patch status.
UpdateExpert 6.3 also uses St. Bernard's independent patch management database -- a directory of thousands of independently researched and tested patches updated three to five times per week. This database lets administrators scan, validate, install and research thousands of patches remotely without a client agent, and it eliminates compatibility issues for patches, service packs and hotfixes.
The software also offers the following new features:
- Multi-platform support: Patches systems on Windows NT and higher, mission-critical Windows applications and Red Hat Linux versions 7.3, 8 and 9 and Solaris versions 8 and 9.
- Rollback: Rolls patches back to previous configurations in the event that an unforeseen conflict develops.
- IP scanning: Discovers targets through a network-based scan using specific IP ranges or subnets, collecting computer information stored in Active Directory or manually.
- Notifications: Warns clients prior to machines being rebooted or patched.
- Agent management: Saves names for all the master agents managed from a console, and uses a drop-down list to connect to those named master agents.
UpdateExpert 6.3 prices begin at $840 for a one-year subscription on 50 machines. No additional hardware or software (such as Internet Information Services) is required.
Robyn Lorusso, editor