Patch Manager 2.1 is now Generally Available and available for download in the customer portal for all customers on active maintenance!!!!! All features described in the Beta post along with multiple bug fixes were addressed in this release.
The team at SolarWinds has been hard at work at producing the next release of Patch Manager with some great new features. It is my pleasure to announce Patch Manager 2.1 Beta which is packed full of features and is open to Patch Manager customers currently on active maintenance. To try it out please fill out this short survey and provide us your feedback in the Patch Manager Beta forum.
Automated 3rd Party Patching and Publishing
Patch Manager currently offers 3rd party patch/updates through our 3PUP catalog so that administrators can simply update their products using Patch Manager as they would for Windows Patches. In Patch Manager 2.1 we have introduced Automated Third Party Patching and Publishing which will save administrators time by automating the publishing of 3rd party updates to WSUS in the same way Microsoft updates distribution points. This reduces the number of touches and time required to publish the 3rd party updates by allowing the local Microsoft WSUS server to automatically download 3rd party patch content on a scheduled basis and automatically publish. An additional option can be set which automatically approves certain patches based on criteria (typically severity) and provide a scope for automatic approval. For a complete list of supported 3rd party updates check out Table of third party patches - updated 1/21/2015. Follow the steps below for enabling and configuring Auto-Publish of 3rd Party Updates to WSUS.
|Opening the Auto-Publish of 3rd Party Update Wizard|
In the Patch Manager Console select Administration and Reporting - Software Publishing - Right click and choose Auto-Publish of 3rd Party Updates to WSUS. Alternatively you can select Auto-Publish of 3rd Party Updates to WSUS in the actions panel after highlighting Software Publishing.
Selecting Products and Specify WSUS
Select the WSUS server that will be publishing the 3rd party update and select the software to have published.
The schedule screen allows you to select your Auto-Publishing schedule. You may choose to have a set period of time to publish as a schedule task or auto-publish after every synchronization. In addition email notifications can be configured on this screen as well.
Once done, you can review and edit you auto-publish task by selecting Scheduled Tasks under Software Publishing
Patch Manager contains volumes of data and environment metrics that can be reported. An important aspect of Patch Management is the ability to perform essential reporting of your environment for compliance and remediation purposes. We have improved the out-of-the-box reporting by replacing dated reports with relevant and more intuitive reporting options. In addition the following reports have been added or modified based on demand from the Thwack user community.
Custom hardware report
|Configuration Management Reports - Computer (System Information) - Custom hardware report|
You no longer have to build a hardware report from scratch. The Custom hardware report can be configured using any of the existing 19 available data sources with each source having multiple fields.
Installed programs and feature basic
|Configuration Management Reports - Installed Programs and Feature Basic (MS Products Omitted)|
The default Installed Programs and Feature Basic (MS Products Omitted) report can easily be modified to omit MS products specific to your environment.
Approved updates status counts by WSUS server and update source
|WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics Approved updates status counts by WSUS server and update source|
Provides the WSUS server name, update source and total sum of approved updates in the following categorizations:
Computer update status - locally published updates
|WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics - Computer update status - locally published updates||This Out-of-the-box report identifies all updates that do not have Microsoft Update as a source|
Computer update status with aggregate counts of install state for approved updates
|WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics - Computer update status with aggregate counts of install state for approved updates||This report provides an aggregate count all approved updates that are applicable to a particular computer/server and in which phase of install.|
Computer Update status counts by classification for approved - not installed
|WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics - Computer Update status counts by classification for approved - not installed||Provides a list of all approved updates that have not been installed on a computer.|
Computer Update status - Approved updates with ID and Revision
|WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics - Computer Update status - Approved updates with ID and Revision||Provides a comprehensive report of all approved updates and their status as it pertains to each computer/server.|
It is important to note that all Out-Of-The-Box reports are configurable with hundreds of data sources and fields. Customization of reporting has been greatly enhanced in Patch Manager 2.1 with the addition of Cross-Datasource Reporting. This provides users with the ability to write reports without worrying about the specific data sources hampering real creativity within the reporting engine.
We have enhanced the log collection functionality in Patch Manager by centralizing and bundling of logs which will assist in the troubleshooting of Patch Manager. By extending the existing Orion diagnostic tool an administrator can now collect the relevant logs and review for diagnostic evaluation or submit to support. This eliminates having to browse to individual directories to gather separate logs.
Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Support
Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 are now OS options when selecting computer properties.
Notification Bar Enhancements
A banner notification has been added to the web console to notify the administrator that new patches are available.
Additional Computer Group Scoping Options
You know have 3 three additional grouping options to allow management and task targeting at subnet, AD organizational unit and/or site levels.This provides granular device grouping options depending on the task at hand when creating computer groupings.