Shavlik Technologies has announced new functionalities for its HFNetChkPro automated patch management solution. HFNetChkPro will now give network administrators the option to roll out patches via agents for customer applications that require them. In addition, based on the recent acquisition of Gibraltar Software technology, a separate version of HFNetChkPro will allow customers running Red Hat Linux to scan the network for Linux operating system vulnerabilities, identify machines to be patched, and automatically roll out and validate patches.
Mark Allen, the Chief Linux/Unix Architect at Shavlik Technologies told Help Net Security: "We want to provide a centralized and complete solution without actually requireing customers to install agents on each individual system they want to manage."
The majority of networks today are well-served with agentless patch management, and agentless solutions continue to grow in popularity for many reasons: rapid deployment, low acquisition cost, low ongoing maintenance, minimal performance overhead, and a low total cost of ownership. However, some applications may require an agent-based solution, which will now be available in HFNetChkPro. Agents collect and compute information locally and transmit data to a central server or network console. This can be important if administrators need to minimize information transmitted to the server or decrease network traffic.
In the agent-based version, either the HFNetChkPro agent or server can initiate patch communications. Each computer can periodically poll the patch server, or the server can scan computers for new updates. This allows for effective patching of roaming users and ensures a higher degree of patch accuracy in environments where machines are not continuously connected to the network.
The new family of HFNetChkPro products with agent and Linux capabilities will be commercially available in the second quarter of 2004.