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UpdateEXPERT

UpdateEXPERT

 

UpdateEXPERT Substitutes

Microsoft Personal Security Advisor (MPSA)

The MPSA scans your local system and builds a customized report on items such as: missing security patches, weak passwords, Internet Explorer and Outlook Express security settings, and Office macro protection settings. This product does not deploy or manage hotfixes as such. It generates a report for a local machine and is run by the user at his/her system. To read more about MPSA, click here.

This method of management is known as "first-person." Since the user must be at the machine to run the MPSA, the software is a first-person solution. UpdateEXPERT is known as a third-person product, because it allows a user to manage a system without physically being at that system.

MPSA is a system security checking product. However, Hfnetchk.exe (below) is a product for taking inventory of security hotfixes. Take a look at the comparison table below.

Microsoft Network Security Hotfix Checker Tool

The Hfnetchk.exe program assesses patch status for the Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 operating systems, as well as hotfixes for Internet Information Server 4.0 (IIS), Internet Information Services 5.0 (IIS), SQL Server 7.0, and SQL Server 2000 (including Microsoft Data Engine [MSDE]), and Internet Explorer 5.01 or later. It is a product developed by Shavlick Technologies for Microsoft. Shavlick offers a version with a graphical user interface at a premium. Hfnetchk.exe is free from Microsoft.

The application uses a command-line interface to tell users if a remote machine within a network has a specific set of updates. It does not deploy, it does not give users the ability to manage via policy, it is not a competitor. It is a substitute.

At this time, the validation feature beats us. We are working on a feature list to solve that deficiency. To read the QArticle from Microsoft click here. Take a look at the comparison table below.

Feature Comparison Table

 

Features UpdateEXPERT MPSA Hfnetchk

Machine Support

Auto discovery of Machines X
Remembers Managed Machines X n.a.
Support Multiple Machines X X
Supports Remote Machines X X
Deployment
Ability to install updates X
Guided install process X
Inventory
Can remotely inventory security fixes X X
Can remotely inventory non-security fixes X

Research

One click access to informative articles X X
Applications
NT 4 X X X
Win 2K X X X
Office X
Outlook X
SQL Server X X
Exchange X
IE X X X
Media Player X X X
Net meeting X X X
IIS X X X

Non-Patch security testing

Non-Patch security testing X

Sneaker-net

Researching is an intensive processThis substitute is the typical mode of operation for systems administrators. They walk to each system to take inventory and install updates.Without remote management, one must walk to each system

 

 

 

 

Remember: Deploying hotfixes is UNPLANNED!

This method of hotfix and service pack management is extremely time consuming!

 Without remote management, one must walk to each system

Microsoft SMS

Let's take a look at the three major functions of UpdateEXPERT and compare them to SMS.

Major Function If You Use SMS
Research SMS has no research function. Users must surf the Web to find what they want. This is a manual process when using SMS.
Inventory and Validation Users must program SMS to take inventory or validate, and SMS requires an agent. UpdateEXPERT requires no such agent. Plus, it is not that easy to figure out how to take inventory of all hotfixes. Finally, validation requires intense research.
Deployment/Installation For SMS, this process requires advanced programming skills and testing time. Again, SMS requires an agent to complete this task. UpdateEXPERT wraps the installation files into a temporary delivery package. Once that installation is complete, the wrapper is removed.

There are two likely scenarios:

  1. Customer is shopping for SMS to solve deployment and inventory problems and wants UpdateEXPERT to do everything that SMS does. In this scenario, you must impress the customer with the fact that both products are required for solving vastly different problems.
  2. Customer already owns SMS, has spent a lot of his/her company's money on SMS, and must overcome the internal objections that yet another IT management solution is required. Again, we solve different problems. SMS is a huge product that solves the major problem of policy management. Hotfix deployment is an unplanned activity. Changing policies is not a constant job. It should be done with the greatest care. Using SMS for hotfix deployment is overkill and requires more resources. UpdateEXPERT mitigates these risks by doing just one thing and doing very well.

Bottom Line: Using SMS to perform the tasks for which UpdateEXPERT was designed is like programming your own custom version of UpdateEXPERT (using SMS as the programming interface). Why program anything? Just use UpdateEXPERT, and let our Sunbelt Tech Support experts do the programming for you.

 

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