Software vendors do tend to have acceptable tools for deploying and managing updates, but there’s a whole world of functionality to explore in the world of patch management. There’s nothing quite like demoing a new patch manager and discovering all of the invaluable secondary functions that make you think “How many hours would have been saved if we had this last week?”
Here are 10 little-known features that could completely change the way your team tackles everyday tasks, even beyond updates!
Generating Compliance Reports
Ordinarily, generic update tools require custom scripts to generate detailed reports about which updates failed and succeeded but robust patch managers should have these capabilities built in for ease of use.
Remote Access for Troubleshooting
Some patch managers on the market today have the ability to report which programs and processes are running on target computers, an easy way to see which programs have crashed or stalled.
Building Inventory Lists
Pulling information like hardware specifications, disk size, installed software, OS versions, and other inventory items usually requires specialized software – unless you already have a patch manager that can do all that and more.
Deploying Custom Scripts
Executing custom scripts on one or more computer is another thing you can do without having to fire up a terminal or visiting the workstations in person. A patch manager with these capabilities usually has the capability to schedule this deployment for convenience as an added bonus.
Rebooting and Waking Computers
Waiting for users to reboot their computers can become a major source of frustration, but patch managers like Batch Patch give you this power remotely. Best of all, Batch Patch allows you to reboot many computers at once on your network.
Have you ever wished you could send a notification to tell a user to save their work or close a program so you can manage their workstation remotely? Consider using your patch manager to push standard Windows-style notifications to get their attention immediately.
Ending Programs Remotely
Sometimes in the process of updating workstations and performing other maintenance tasks, it becomes necessary to end or restart a program or process. This is a feature no patch management utility should be without.
Completing Complex Sequences
Install, check, reboot, install, check reboot. The cycle of endless reboots is common headache for IT teams that have to deploy a large number of updates at once. See if your current patch manager has the capability to schedule or script each step of the process for a more hands-off approach.
Caching and Distributing Updates
What happens if your update server goes down? The best patching tools on the market can turn any workstation with sufficient space and bandwidth into an impromptu server for grabbing and distributing updates. It beats racking up bandwidth charges by specifying each workstation to grab their own from the software vendor’s servers.
Fetching Event Logs
When it’s time to troubleshoot, getting those logs quickly and efficiently can make the process so much easier. It’s a complete game changer!
Take time to explore all of the secondary features your patch manager is capable of – you might be surprised at just how much power these extremely lightweight and simple programs are capable of providing.