Adaptiva has launched an autonomous patching solution for third-party Windows applications. Called Adaptiva Endpoint Patch, the company claims it is the first solution of its kind. The goal is to automate the entire patching process, including the identification of applications and automated testing.
While many large enterprise customers may already have patching processes for endpoints, this will appeal to them. It removes the need to constantly audit endpoints to discover which applications are running. It also means that they don’t need to be monitoring third-party websites to see what patches are available.
Adaptiva founder and CEO, Dr Deepak Kumar, said, “We have taken a radically different approach to patching by schematizing the administrator’s strategic intent and combining that with sophisticated models of enterprise business units and patching processes.
“Once these models are in place, metadata streams down from Adaptiva CDNs and patching takes place at a controlled, measured pace, with an autonomously calibrated response based on objective measures of risk and exposure.
“The fundamental premise is quite simple – humans should define strategy and process, and software should do the rest.”
What capabilities does Endpoint Patch deliver?
Adaptiva is making some bold claims for Endpoint Patch. For example, “IT will never have to worry about patching again” and “any application you need.” It’s aggressive, and it’s going to raise eyebrows. So what is in the product?
There are a number of key phrases used by the company to describe what Endpoint Patch does:
Set it and Forget it: Configurable patching strategies automate the entire patching process for any third-party. Create a patching strategy once, and never think about it again.
Full Visibility and Control: Real-time reporting and monitoring dashboards show all the real-time progress, and allow the admin to pause, restart, rewind, or even fast forward any deployment to achieve consistent and reliable patching results and meet stringent SLAs.
Limitless Scale: Incomparable patch distribution, powered by The Adaptiva Edge Cloud Platform, ensure patches are delivered to devices in any location, and on any network connection, more reliably and efficiently than any other orchestration engine.
Continuous Metadata: Metadata for all of your third-party applications will continuously stream from the Adaptiva CDN so that when a patch is available, it will be deployed autonomously based on risk and exposure.
Flexible Patch Distribution: Send unlimited patches at any time without impacting network bandwidth or business productivity with the best content distribution and execution engine in the industry.
Strengthen UEM: Flexibility to work with any unified endpoint management and substantially improves the performance of tools like Microsoft Intune, VMware Workspace One, and others by ensuring content is fully distributed to every device.
Can it really deliver?
It’s a question that can only be answered over time, although Adaptiva is, predictably, bullish. Let’s look at the phrase “Any 3rd Party Application or Version You Need.” Dig into this, and it’s not quite what it seems. For example, Adaptiva says it supports “an ever-growing list of the most common enterprise applications offered by Adobe, Cisco, Google, Oracle, LogMeIn, and hundreds more.” It will also provide access to “any Line of Business application you request.”
The key to this breadth of scope is a dedicated Metadata team that Adaptiva is providing. It says it “ensures the latest patch versions and applications are instantly available as soon as they hit the market and can add any new applications you need at any time.”
But how quickly can it react? How will it deal with the breadth of tools that are in use out there? How will it add to the library of tools it supports? Where is the API to allow customers to expand the list of software applications themselves?
None of these is answered on the webpage. There are other questions out there, such as how will smaller vendors get involved? This also links back to the question of a public API that can be used by third-party’s to expand Endpoint Patch.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
Patching is a nightmare for all companies, large and small. Part of the problem that is rarely talked about is the number of applications that need patching. It can sometimes be hard to look beyond the list of major business applications that companies use. This is because those vendors have established patch cycles and publicise their patches.
Even the 2nd and 3rd tier enterprise application vendors have patch cycles but many customers may deprioritise them as being less important than Oracle, Microsoft, et al. That is a mistake, and it is one that Adaptiva is looking to correct.
But Adaptiva wants to go further with its claim of patching any third-party application on Windows. It will take time to achieve that, and it will be interesting to see how quickly it expands the applications it supports.
Perhaps the most important thing, however, is that this is an autonomous process. The solution looks to take human error out of the patching process and make everything smooth. However, there is a caveat here. There needs to be effective monitoring and auditing tools to ensure that ALL applications are being patched. How that will be done is unclear from the product webpage.
But, the product is just going into limited preview with General Availability not due until Q1/2023. That should give Adaptiva time to address all the questions above.