Novadigm to Roll Out Patch Manager

The Radia Patch Manager automates a range of patch management functions.

Novadigm Inc. on Monday will make its first foray into security patch management with a comprehensive configuration management spin on its new offering.

The Radia Patch Manager applies a policy-based model to the process of updating security patches across servers, workstations and mobile devices. It will initially support Microsoft Windows platforms servers but will quickly follow up with support for a variety of Unix platforms.

"We take a lifecycle approach to discover what is and isnt there, whos at most risk, take action to do something about it, and maintain it at a steady state," said Joseph Fitzgerald, chief technology officer and co-founder of the Mahwah, N.J., company.

The tool automates a range of patch management functions from patch acquisition, impact analysis and vulnerability assessment to deployment and ongoing patch compliance with policies so that devices remain configured correctly.

The tool is intended to help enterprises close the gap from when patches become available to when it becomes feasible after weeks or months of testing to deploy them to appropriate systems.

"Most enterprises are six months behind in patches. They favor stability over vulnerability until theres a big problem," said Fitzgerald. "We help determine the impact, figure out which groups would be affected, so that if you have the SQL Slammer patch installed on 10,000 servers but only used on 2,000, we can identify that."

Radia Patch Manager can obtain and import patches from a variety sources, including Microsofts own patch site, vendor media and shared drives, Fitzgerald said. It automatically downloads patches, hot fixes and security packs to a repository inside the enterprise firewall for analysis and deployment.

Rather than blindly installing a new patch, the tool examines the patch to "derive all the bits its going to change and use that to cross reference other applications that are using those bits as well as other patches, so we can see whats really going to be changed. We can get great information about whats going to be affected," said Fitzgerald.

Although the tool is integrated with the Radia Management Suite of software change and configuration management offerings, Novadigm also intends to offer it as a stand-alone product.

Radia Patch Manager will be available at the end of the month for Windows platforms. A new release adding support for HP-UX, IBM AIX, Solaris and Linux is due by the end of September. Prices start at $35 per desktop and $100 per server.