Pitching patch: St. Bernard Software

St. Bernard provided a fairly good response, giving reasonable detail about how its UpdateEXPERT works, but it offered few specifics for our company.

St. Bernard offers both agent-based and agentless technology, which gives our company real flexibility using agents on mobile devices and, possibly, in satellite offices. The agent enables remote machines to update as soon as they connect to the network. St. Bernard, like most of the vendors, also responded to the issues of remote/satellite users and rapid patch deployment throughout the organization with recommendations for staged distribution by group (St. Bernard and most others integrate with AD), delayed reboots and bandwidth throttling.

UpdateEXPERT includes unlimited management consoles in the basic package—a nice value add for our distributed environment.

St. Bernard was the only company to fully meet our requirement for availability of all patches within 24 hours of release -- a Draconian demand designed to put the respondents' feet to the fire. (Most responded with an SLA for 24-hour delivery of "critical" patches.)

St. Bernard offers extensive configuration management through its SecurityEXPERT product, which includes UpdateEXPERT. While its proposal focused on patch management, St. Bernard could have made a stronger pitch based on this bundled solution. As it was, it discussed SecurityEXPERT briefly as more of a "by the way." The agentless technology relies on RPC, which gave us some pause; though St. Bernard says it encrypts all RPC with Blowfish.

We'd be on the fence about following up on this response, leaning slightly in St. Bernard's favor because of their dual technologies and SecurityEXPERT option.

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This was first published in May 2005

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