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January 24, 20245 min read

Riding the Wave of Change Part 1: How Deployment Waves Are Transforming Patch Deployment

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The Persistent Challenge of Software Patching 

Software patching and distribution present ongoing challenges to organizations across all industries. A crucial aspect of these challenges is risk reduction during deployment. Imagine a scenario where a new software patch disrupts an entire network, causing widespread downtime. Such situations are what IT administrators strive to prevent. 

Consider this: Forrester and IBM report that the average cost of planned IT downtime is estimated to be $ $5.6 million per year, with unplanned downtime costing an addition 35% more, a stark reminder of the critical importance of effective software patching. 

Understanding the Risks in Deployment

Deploying new software versions or patches always carries risks. These may include installation failures, bugs, incompatibilities, or even severe system errors like blue screens (BSoD) or Operating System corruption. These are nightmares for any IT professional. 


Traditional Approach and Its Shortcomings 

The typical strategy for mitigating these issues involves extensive testing. However, this approach has its limitations: 

1. Testing Environment Limitations: The test environment needs to replicate various system types, OS versions, and installed software, mirroring the production environment as closely as possible

2. Manual and Time-Consuming Process: Often, large enterprises set up dedicated test teams and quality assurance environments, but these are resource-intensive and don't always cover all necessary aspects, like compatibility and system health post-installation

The Ponemon Institute reports in the The State of Patch Management in the Digital Workplace that 65% of IT pros spend an average of 10 hours to more than 25 hours deploying patches weekly.

3. Challenges in Deployment Phasing: Deployment usually occurs in phases to limit risks, but managing these phases requires significant manual intervention, especially when devices change or get updated. 

4. Handling Deployment Failures: Detecting and responding to catastrophic failures in deployment phases is crucial but often difficult, especially if the issues aren't immediately apparent.


Improving Patching Success with Deployment Waves 

Adaptiva’s OneSite Patch is designed to automate and streamline these processes. Here's how it transforms the patch deployment landscape: 

Advanced Control with Automated Deployment Waves 

OneSite Patch revolutionizes deployment management through its sophisticated 'Deployment Waves' feature. This tool is far more than just a phased rollout mechanism; it represents a new paradigm in deployment strategy. Here’s how it stands out:

  • Dynamic Adaptability: Unlike traditional static deployment phases, OneSite Patch's Deployment Waves are dynamic and adaptable. They automatically adjust to the changing landscape of your IT environment. As machines get updated, replaced, or their configurations change, the waves adapt in real-time, ensuring that each deployment phase is always optimally configured.
  • Customizable Deployment Phases: The flexibility of Deployment Waves allows administrators to tailor the deployment strategy to their organization's specific needs. Whether it’s a standard three-phase rollout (test, pre-production, production) or a more granular, multi-layered approach, Deployment Waves can be configured to match any requirement.
  • Real-Time Group Management: The integration with Business Units in OneSite Patch means that the groups within each wave are updated in real-time based on real-time data from endpoints. This feature alleviates the burden of manual group management, ensuring that each wave always contains the right mix of devices. 
  • Intelligent Deployment Decisions: Deployments can be configured to make intelligent decisions based on the data they receive. This includes the ability to pause or adjust the rollout based on the performance and health of the systems in each wave, providing an unprecedented level of control and responsiveness. 
  • Enhanced Risk Mitigation: By deploying in carefully controlled waves, OneSite Patch significantly reduces the risk associated with software updates. Problems can be identified and addressed in earlier waves, preventing widespread issues in the larger deployment stages. 
  • Automated Approval and Oversight: Administrators can set criteria for automatic progression between waves or choose to manually approve each phase. This flexibility allows for a balance between automation and oversight, tailored to the organization's comfort level and policy requirements. 

OneSite Patch doesn't just deploy; it monitors and reacts: 

Automated Post-Installation Checks: It performs checks after patch installation to ensure system integrity, like verifying communication with a Domain Controller, ensuring external web service availability, checking service states, validating registry key settings, etc. 

Automated Rollback: In case of a failure, OneSite Patch can be configured to revert the software to a previous version, either manually or automatically, minimizing disruption to the end-user. 


Elevating Administrators from Micro-Management to Strategic Oversight with OneSite Patch 

OneSite Patch marks a paradigm shift in how administrators manage software deployments. It transforms the traditional, labor-intensive approach into a streamlined, strategic oversight process:

  • Simplified Review and Approval Process: OneSite Patch allows administrators to effortlessly monitor deployment statuses at a glance. With intuitive controls, they can approve each stage of the deployment with just a simple click. This ease of use doesn't just save time; it enables administrators to focus on broader strategic concerns rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of deployment management. 
  • Smart Automatic Approvals: Beyond manual oversight, OneSite Patch offers the capability to set up automated approvals. Administrators can define specific criteria, such as success rates, compliance levels, or other key performance indicators. When these criteria are met, deployments can progress automatically. 
  • Proactive Alerting and Notifications: In addition to the approval process, OneSite Patch can be configured to send proactive alerts and notifications. This feature keeps administrators informed in real-time about critical deployment milestones or issues, enabling them to make informed decisions quickly and effectively. 
  • Customizable Oversight Controls: Recognizing that different organizations have different needs, OneSite Patch provides customizable controls for oversight. Administrators can tailor the level of automation and manual intervention according to their organization’s policies and processes, striking the perfect balance between control and efficiency. 


The Transformative Impact of Deployment Waves 

In summary, OneSite Patch's Deployment Waves feature marks a transformative shift in software management. It streamlines the deployment process, significantly reduces manual effort, and minimizes risks. By shifting from hands-on management to strategic oversight, IT administrators can now focus on more critical aspects of their role, leveraging the power of automation and real-time adaptability. Deployment Waves represent not just an advancement in technology but a smarter approach to managing the ever-evolving IT landscape. 


Engage with Us 

Have thoughts or experiences to share about software patching? We'd love to hear from you. For more information on OneSite Patch, feel free to reach out to our team.


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