|By Keith Mayer||
|August 24, 2013 01:00 PM EDT||
If you’ve supported enterprise IT solutions for as long as I have, at some point in time you have most likely witnessed The 3 Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management. Respect these truths, and you’ll enjoy a stable, manageable datacenter environment. Ignore these truths, and … well … let’s not even think about those possibilities!
The Three Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management
- All software requires patch updates from time-to-time.
- All hardware requires firmware updates from time-to-time.
- If you attempt to dismiss #1 or #2 as being irrelevant to you, you may soon know well one of my favorite quotes: /p>
Once we’ve accepted these 3 truths … the questions we have at-hand in enterprise IT management are not “Why apply patches?” nor “How many patches?” And, certainly, we don’t want to be in a situation where we are asking ourselves “How long can I go without applying patches?”
Ugh! Those questions quickly lead down a path that could be a recipe for datacenter disaster!
Rather, the relevant question at-hand is … How do I implement an orchestrated patch management solution that provides my datacenter with continuous application availability while ensuring compliance with the latest set of necessary patches?
Orchestrated Patch Management is a “Must Have”!
Certainly, the value of orchestrated patch management rings very clearly today with the IT Pros in my community – many of them have implemented heavily-virtualized Private Cloud environments, and patch management is one of the processes that they have automated into an “almost non-event” in their environments.
The importance of orchestrated patch management is particularly high when we consider patches that may apply to the hypervisor itself. Let’s face it … while all modern bare-metal hypervisors have a tiny footprint compared to their Type-2 hypervisor ancestors, hypervisors are still software and, as such, still have patch management that must be tended to ( remember, Truth #1 above ). Since virtualized application workloads run on top of a hypervisor, this tags hypervisor patch management as a high priority in most environments - regardless of the hypervisor being deploying.
In fact, this is one of the reasons that we’ve included Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) as a core foundational feature in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012, our completely FREE enterprise-grade bare-metal hypervisor.
By leveraging CAU, you can quickly configure an automated patch management process that easily integrates with your Hyper-V Host Cluster to patch your Hyper-V Hosts in an orchestrated manner, host-by-host, across your entire cluster. During this cluster-aware patching process, CAU leverages Live Migration to safely move running VM’s between Hyper-V Hosts so that availability of your virtualized application workloads is maintained throughout the cluster-wide patching process.
Wait! Cluster Aware Updating is FREE with Hyper-V?
That’s correct! Unlike other virtualization vendors, we believe that orchestrated patch management is a core “table-stakes” component for an enterprise-class virtualization solution. As such, CAU is included with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 without purchasing any additional management licenses.