Shavlik Patch 2.2 available in early access!

ShavlikPatch

The Shavlik Team is proud to announce the availability of Shavlik Patch 2.2 in an early access delivery.  Check out what’s new!

  • Edit packages (watch the video) – Change the command line switches, return codes expected, etc for a given package.
  • IAVA Support – For our Federal customers we have extended our IAVA coverage into our Shavlik Patch offering making it much easier to automatically cross-reference DOD IAVAs.
  • Republish and resigning of packages – The manual steps for doing this are long and painful and going down that rabbit hole is not recommended.  It is also no longer necessary!  We are going to do all the heavy lifting on this one.
  • Manage vendor and product categories (watch the video) – We have a new interface that lets you monitor and manage the categories in use so, again, you do not have to go down a significantly long, manual process to reclaim a category that is no longer in use.

We have a webinar scheduled for April 6th, 2016 to walk through the Shavlik Patch 2.2 features and show you whats new! You can also download Shavlik Patch 2.2 here.

What We Learned from Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Users

I’ve worked in the systems management arena for some time now.  Working with disgruntled Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) customers for most of my career, we had some assumptions going Customer Serviceinto this research.  Fortunately, the data proved us wrong.  After doing a survey of 150 IT professionals, we found some surprising (or maybe not surprising to you) finds about ConfigMgr.

1)    Configuration Manager customers actually like Configuration Manager.  Weird.  We were under the impression that many people picked SCCM because of politics or it was included in their Enterprise Agreement.  This is not the case.  In Shavlik’s study 72% of SCCM customers chose SCCM because it was the best fit.

2)    SCCM customers would like Configuration Manager to be the central hub of IT activity.  But surprisingly, 27% of SCCM customers currently use add-ins to solve problems not solved by Microsoft.  This means that either they are unaware of some of the gaps or they are solving these problems by using additional tools not integrated in SCCM.

3)    Third-party patch management was reported surprisingly high as a missing feature of SCCM – 38% of respondents selected third-party patching as a high priority. This is a great case for Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center an add-in solution that takes care of the third-party patching problem.  Even though Microsoft is the master of OS patching, they fall short on third-party patching and tend to leave these “treadmill”-type activities to the other vendors

Respondents expectations for a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager add-in

Respondents expectations for a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager add-in

4)    SCCM admins don’t want additional crap in their infrastructure.  Setting up SCCM was difficult enough.  Adding more databases, interfaces, and potentially servers and infrastructure does not constitute an “add-in” product.  Add-ins should use the native functionality of SCCM with either no additional or light additional components that are leverage the existing infrastructure and software.

If you are an SCCM admin or have experience with SCCM in your IT career, please respond to this Blog and tell me what you like/dislike about SCCM.

Windows IT Pro Weighs in on Shavlik Patch

You’ve heard a lot of talk from us about the new Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center, but you may be wondering, “What are people who don’t have the word ‘Shavlik’ on their business cards saying about this new product?”

Windows IT Pro Community Manager Rod Trent answered just that in his article Shavlik Patch for System Center Simplifies Securing the Other 86 Percent of Windows Vulnerabilities. Trent is a leading expert on Microsoft System Center technologies and has more than 25 years of IT experience.

Here are some of his insights.

  • “…86% of reported vulnerabilities come from third-party applications, 10% comes from the operating system itself, and 4% is attributed to the hardware.”
  • “Shavlik Patch for System Center takes a normally manual process for third party application patches and automates it such that administrators can have the confidence that the ‘other 86%’ of known vulnerabilities are covered.”
  • “Shavlik was one of the first vendors to understand the need to patch products other than those provided by Microsoft. …the company knows patching.”
  • “Configuration is easy and scheduling is provided to automate the download of deployable .cab files and publishing of updates.”
  • “In addition to the console integration, the product also takes full advantage of the capabilities built into ConfigMgr for targeted deployments of software patches.”

Learn more about Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center or download a free trial here.

 

Shavlik Joins Microsoft System Center Alliance

Shavlik is happy to announce we have joined the Microsoft System Center Alliance Program. By joining the Alliance Program, Shavlik is reaffirming its commitment to customers who use System Center Configuration Manager.

“Shavlik is thrilled to be part of the Microsoft System Center Alliance Program,” said Marshall Smith, Vice President of Partnering and Operations for Shavlik. “We have patched Microsoft and third-party applications since the beginnings of Shavlik, and we plan to continue empowering our customers with our popular SCUPdates, Management Intelligence, and additional Shavlik products that add value for System Center customers.”

“Our membership in the Alliance will help us continue to foster the communication required to shape and refine our products and to meet the needs of our mutual customers.”

Shavlik SCUPdates eliminates the time-consuming task of researching and creating the updates required to patch third-party products via SCCM. After downloading the SCUPdates catalog and importing desired patches into Configuration Manager using System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP), users can manage and deploy third-party updates from within SCCM in the same manner in which they manage Microsoft updates.

“System Center 2012 R2, with its trailblazing functionality, provides a solid foundation for third parties such as Shavlik to build on and add value for customers,” said Brian Hillger, Director, Product Marketing, Microsoft Corporation.

“With SCUPdates, Shavlik is helping customers keep third-party applications patched and secure with consistent accuracy and ease-of-use. Microsoft is pleased to welcome Shavlik into the System Center Alliance.”

Shavlik Management Intelligence extends SCCM data for effective asset management.

Read the full article here to learn more about the Alliance Program as well as how Shavlik can help you extend the capabilities of Configuration Manager.

 

Is patch management a solved problem?

Gartner says, “no.”

In his article, Patch Not a Solved Problem, Gartner Research Director Anton Chuvakin explains the misconception in our industry that Patch Management challenges are a thing of the past. He cites continued struggles with third-party patching as the reason Patch Management remains at least partially unsolved in today’s IT organizations.

How are you addressing this in your SCCM environment?

Shavlik Systems Engineer John Rush and I sat down to discuss how you can come a whole lot closer to solving the Patch Management problem with Shavlik SCUPdates for SCCM.

Check out the “Extend patching in Microsoft System Center with SCUPdates” webinar at http://www.shavlik.com/webinars/ to learn more.