Prism Patch Manager
Strengths: Support for Solaris and Red Hat Linux machines.
Weaknesses: No OS X support at present.
Verdict: A well thought-out product that can only get better.
This product was extremely quick to install, the whole process taking less than a minute. And scanning our test network was also very quick, taking just six minutes or so from clicking the icon to completing a network scan. Larger networks will understandably take longer.
The main interface is clear and well laid-out and generally typical fare for a console. The window is split into three panes. One shows machines, group and profile, the second information on highlighted devices, the third information on particular patches or problems.
With the scanning of the whole test network happening so fast, scanning one machine seemed to take just seconds. We were then presented with a huge list of different issues and patches. The tabs along this list allowed us to filter results by operating system or application, although on Windows-based machines it seemed to only show Microsoft-based products. It would be preferable to embrace a few other non-Microsoft products here.
However, there is more than a nod to heterogeneous environments. New in this version is support for Unix-based machines, such as Red Hat Linux 7.3, 8.0 and 9.0 and Solaris 8 and 9. We applaud the effort in supporting these OSs, but would suggest that vendors look at support for Apple’s OS X in future releases.
Agent installation was fairly painless. We installed an agent on our test machine and it seemed to blend unnoticed into the background. There are two types of agent, Master and Leaf. Master Agents act like branch managers, aggregating all data generated
and presenting those results (on demand) to the console.
Leaf agents can be installed on local machines in the network. These talk to the Master Agents, passing back information. The system appears quite efficient in bandwidth usage.
Overall, we were quite pleased with how Prism Patch Manager ran and would recommend it for most enterprises.