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Managed Patching

One of the services offered by Sound Technology Services is managed patching. We’ve talked about patching before, usually in terms of getting hot patches to our clients more quickly than is generally available.  This type of immediate patching is important in those cases where a significant software (usually browser or os) vulnerability has been discovered and time is of the essence in applying the fix.

There are other, more routine patching events that occur, too.  If a computer user has enabled automatic patching, they have provided permission in advance for patches to be applied by the software supplier.  When the software supplier releases the patch, it is automatically downloaded to the user’s computer the next time the machine boots up.

We are aware of these routine patching events, as you would expect. But at Sound Technology Services, we don’t immediately apply routine patches.  We wait; usually six days.  Why? Just in case something is wrong with the patch.  When it is routine, and not critical, we think it is best for others to be the ones to validate whether there are any problems with the patch. And although the “just in case” doesn’t always happen, when it does our clients are spared the disruptions (or worse) that might occur.

Recently, there was a batch of bad patches that exemplifies what can happen.  A Microsoft patch released on Tuesday, September 10th (they are almost always released on the second Tuesday of the month) went badly.  Some patches ran repeatedly.  Others simply failed, with a failure message coming up.  Others eliminated the user’s folder structure from displaying in Outlook. By Wednesday morning, Microsoft was recommending that patches be manually uninstalled.  (Read an InfoWorld article here http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/microsoft-pulls-botched-kb-2871630-while-many-office-patch-problems-remain-226690)

All of Sound Technology Services managed customers avoided these issues.  We held the patch, just in case.  Just in case something like this happened.

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