Numara Software's Numara Patch Manager 9.1.1
Strengths: Patch management capabilities are very solid.
Weaknesses: Numerous licensing and module options; menu items are sometimes seven or eight levels deep.
Verdict: Overall, a solid value for the money and worth exploring for any size organization.
SummaryNumara Patch Manager 9.1.1 is one of eight modules integrated into the Numara Asset Management Platform (AMP) solution. However, our review was limited to just the Numara Patch Manager module, which can be deployed on Linux, UNIX, Windows or MAC OS. For our installation we chose a Windows platform and Microsoft SQL Server as the database backend. A typical architecture for the solution includes a master server, console and client agents.
Installation of the solution was very easy. The product is fairly user-friendly with regard to getting started and it installed very quickly. At first glance, the dashboard interface is easy to navigate and contains a handful of wizards to manage the major patch management tasks. A master server provides patch-repository information, as well as an inventory of hardware, applications, security and other ancillary information for each node.
For as many options that were available, from a discovery perspective, we found the tool to not be so intuitive. We did not find any obvious method to scan or discover a network and its assets as a first order of business. Instead, administrators must initialize an agent rollout wizard before discovery, which then offers the ability to scan for hosts. We believe the discovery of hosts should feel as if it's a natural and fundamental first step. Additionally, the data, which is captured at the host level, is very impressive, but sometimes those nuggets are accessed through seven or eight levels of collapsible and expandable menu items for every single element. This makes the navigation pane feel slightly clunky at times. Although this presents administrators with a wealth of information, ease of use suffers a bit. Overall, the solution definitely delivers on the ability to deploy patches and run quality reports.
Documentation is available as an HTML-based help file and is quite extensive. Email and phone (five day/12 hours a day) support for the product is included at an 18 to 25 percent maintenance fee and there are multiple support packages available. The Numara Software website offers a knowledge base and online support access as well.