AUTOMATIC Home Office and Small Business Patching

Every few weeks, we get an email from a small business or home user with a small slug of machines they want to make sure are patched. It awesome to see everyone care about patching, but implementing a routine patching plan is sometimes a tough thing to do. All of the emails we see always say something to the effect of:

  1. Patching isn’t fun, but I know it needs to get done.
  2. How do I do it in a non-intrusive way?

 
After thinking about this issue for quite some time, we now have a great answer. On Tuesday this week, we’ll be announcing the release of IT.Shavlik’s Site Manager. Site Manager is designed for the Small office IT administrator or home user who wants to patch, but not have to think about logging into the IT.Shavlik site to scan and deploy patches.  — We automate the entire process for you using your existing IT.Shavlik credentials.

The concept of Site Manager is simple; set it, and forget it. We want to make it so you can download the patching app once, set it up on one computer in your office, and then Site Manager takes over. In Site Manager, we’ll find the machines you can scan on your network, you can set a time for those machines to be scanned, and when that time is crossed, we’ll take care of scanning all the selected machines, and patch them for you automatically. — If you want to view the results, they can either be retrieved online using your IT.Shavlik account, or alternatively delivered to you in a forthcoming release.

No longer do small businesses have to think about patching. — You’re a few clicks away from making the process automated.  Get started by registering via the  “Join IT Now” button on IT.Shavlik at http://it.shavlik.com and click “Forget IT”

When does the cloud make sense?

If you talk with many small to medium sized businesses (SMB) about virtualization, unless they are a high-tech company many of them will tilt their heads sideways and deal you a “huh?” response.  The technology, although now mainstream at high-tech companies and enterprises is still facing an adoption curve as it moves down into SMB.  Not surprisingly, the “cloud” debate seems to be taking a path of a different sort.  – Starting with those SMB’s who are choosing to skip virtualization although and head straight for the cloud.

I was reading some articles recently, and came across an article on Redmondmag.com entitled “Survey: Cloud Benefits Not Clearly Defined” written by Keith Ward (10/14/2010:http://redmondmag.com/articles/2010/10/14/cloud-benefits-not-clearly-defined.aspx) which discussed the value proposition of Clouding and a specific survey cited as Hubspan which found a shockingly large number of business still trying to rationalize the cloud.  As he stated, the blog entry from Hubspan went on to say that perhaps the problem is we are supplying too much information around the cloud that, “it’s sometimes hard to break through the noise.” — A great observation.  Keith Ward, continues on to describe the fact that those companies that provide their software via the cloud need to do a better job of explaining why the cloud makes sense.  Again, a point I agree with whole-heartedly.

So now, let’s talk about why the cloud makes sense.  There are a few reasons that we’ve heard loud and clear from our loyal base of a few thousand IT administrators.  There are really two main scenarios that I hear time and time again:

  • I’m a SMB that hasn’t done much with virtualization, but we need to find a way to roll more applications out.  At the same time, the amount of infrastructure we manage is over-whelming.  We need to not have to manage so much.
  • I’m a bigger company that has an IT department serving many departments that require different applications and levels of lifecycle management.  To manage them through my department would be the end of me.

Sure, there are countless other examples of scenarios that are more specific, but when you look at it objectively, I’m seeing lot’s of SMB’s leap-frogging virtualization and going straight to the cloud, and the bigger organizations are doing it to manage diverging requests where virtualization will equate to massive amounts of VM-sprawl across their organization. – Thereby, it’s easier to do it in the clouds.  If one of these two scenarios fits your mold, perhaps it’s time you give it a look.

Even with these two value scenarios, I have to tell you the author of this article is dead-on.  Those of us that offer cloud applications or onboarding to the cloud need to be more explicit in delivering our value-proposition.  The cloud isn’t the panacea of IT. – It’s merely a distribution mechanism of computing that allows us to have to manage our equipment and processes less by virtue of attaching to someone elses world-class systems.