Because we know that patch management is necessary regardless of an organization’s size, and that preparation is the key component of this process, we decided to prepare a video to demonstrate how you can use SysKit for patch management and other important functions.
When we talk about patch management with SysKit, our goal is to make sure that everything that you have in your data center is up to date. As we all know, Microsoft has been putting out a lot of patches. In most cases, when it comes to updates for Windows and the co-operating system, you are probably using a tool that handles all these updates automatically. But when it comes to more complex systems like Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Microsoft SharePoint, there are additional steps to take, and sometimes it is not that easy to find out if your system is up to date. That’s why we worked so hard on SysKit. With SysKit, you can get reports on time, schedule a time for an update, check available security updates and current version on your system, keep track of planned or unplanned system reboots, and much more.
Watch the video or read the transcript to learn more about SysKit’s monitoring and reporting features and patch management.
Table of contents:
Hello everyone! My name is Toni Frankola and I’m one of the co-founders of Acceleratio. In this video, we’re going to focus on how you can be better in gathering information about applications, updates, and cumulative updates installed across your network. We’re going to have quick overview of our SysKit tool, and then I’m going to explain how you can use tool – especially in patch management areas – and what kind of usages we can provide for this use. Then, we are going to jump into the demo, where you will see how all these things can be performed in a real environment.
Patch Management with SysKit
When it comes to patch management, we can provide you a complete inventory of everything that is installed on every server or any workstation that’s been monitored. We can retrieve information from your environment and then show you a report in a readable format where you can analyze the details about all the applications and patches that are installed. If the application is specific, like Microsoft SharePoint, it’s very important for you to make sure that every single server in your farm has been updated to the latest version and that you are running the same version across different farms in your environment. We aggregate all the data from all the servers that have been monitored, and you can create different kinds of reports to help you manage this environment. The system is agentless, but we can scale it to various different environments.
System Uptime and Restart Log Reports
One of the reports that we provide is closely connected to your event logs and the information that we retrieve from your systems. We can show you the total uptime for every single server in your environment, which is very important when you are planning future restarts and patching. This report gives you comprehensive information across your environment regarding the potential servers that have been restarted in the last few days. We also provide a Restart Log Report, which shows you when a particular system, PC, or server has been restarted or shut down. You can adjust the time periods and see how, when, and who has performed planned or unplanned maintenance on the system.
I’m going to load a Windows-based application with data that I have in my system. I’m immediately going to jump into Administration, where I have list of 99 servers that I’m currently monitoring. I want to show you how simple it is to add a new additional server to the monitoring pool. There is nothing to be installed. In order to add a new server, I will just click on the Add button and select predefined organization units or anything from your active directory. I’m going to select one of my SharePoint servers that I want to add. Then I will look for this server in my search box.
I will also show you how information retrieval works. Let’s jump into the Manage part of the application and open the configuration screen called System Jobs. Our application shows the number of jobs that run on predefined schedule. There are many important jobs running on the schedule – these are Computer Assets and Software Assets. They are retrieving information about your environment. Computer Assets is retrieving information about your hardware, and Software Assets is retrieving information about installed applications and updates.
If I go back to the Reporting part, I have a dedicated section for inventory. In the Inventory part, I can see all the servers and everything that’s related to disks, network adapters, applications installed, CPU, printers, and services running on the servers.
Custom Patches Reports
I want to show you how easy it is to retrieve information from SharePoint and how we can easily group information by farms. I’m going to create a custom filter and look at everything that’s related to my SharePoint server. Now I can see my farms and installed SharePoint Bets. In my case, I want to make sure that all my farms are up to date. For example, if I’m running SharePoint 2007, I need to make sure that SharePoint 2007 is at a patch level, so in this case, you can see that all my farms are on the same version. That means that all servers have been patched. If I have servers with different versions or servers that haven’t been updated to the latest version, my next step would be to identify these servers and make sure that they are updated and running the latest or desired version of SharePoint in my environment.
You can always easily create schedule reports and define delivery methods and settings. These can be delivered via email, and there is also an option to save the report to File Share or the SharePoint document library, if you have one. You will then receive a report via email on the defined schedule.
Event Log Reports
In Event Log Reports, I will chose System Logs Reports and see the complete list of all restart events in my environment. I can also easily change time periods to see all the servers that have been restarted or shut down in this time period. I can see that everything is okay with servers, but if I have some problems or the system doesn’t perform well and it’s restarting too often, this report can help me diagnose a particular problem that is causing this issue. You can use different filters in these reports to find out what you are interested in and create your own custom filter. If we jump to another report called System Uptime, you can get an overview of your entire environment and all restarted events on your system.
If you are looking for SharePoint servers, exchange servers, or SQL servers that haven’t been patched for a long time (or that are running a version that is not supported anymore), with SysKit you can run a report across your environment to be informed of problems like this.