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.

 

PaM_Beta_button.jpeg

 

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 1/21/2015Follow 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.

 

3rd party3.JPG

Selecting Products and Specify WSUS

Select the WSUS server that will be publishing the 3rd party update and select the software to have published.

3rd party.JPG

Schedule

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.

 

schedule.jpg

Summary

 

Summary.jpg

Scheduled Tasks

Once done, you can review and edit you auto-publish task by selecting Scheduled Tasks under Software Publishing

scheduled tasks.jpg


 

 

 

Report Enhancements

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.

 

ReportLocationInformation

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.

HW Report.JPG

HW Report 2.JPG

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.

MS Office Omited.JPG

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:

  • Approved not installed
  • Approved unknown
  • Approved downloaded
  • Approved failed
  • Approved installed
  • Approved pending reboot
  • Approved total

Computer update status - locally published updates

WSUS Reports - Windows Server Update Services Analytics - Computer update status - locally published updatesThis 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 updatesThis 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 installedProvides 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 RevisionProvides 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. 


Logging Enhancements

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.

Diagnostics.JPG


 

Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Support

Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 are now OS options when selecting computer properties.

new OS.JPG


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.


Scoping optionsHeader 2
IP Subnet - You now have the option to target a subset of machines based on a specific subnet.

 

1.png

Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU) -  Patch Manager administrators are able to target all computers within an Active Directory Organizational Unit.options.JPG
Active Directory Site -  You can now group computers by Active Directory Sites as a possible element in routing requests to automation servers. Larger environments with multiple Patch Manager servers require automation routing rules to assign tasks to specific Patch Manager servers based on the IP of the machine in question.

 

OU2.JPG

 

That's it for now.  Don't forget to sign up for the Beta and provide your feedback in the Patch Manager Beta forum