Coffee Machine Image by Andrew Leinster from PixabayPulseway has rolled out an updated, more sophisticated and easier-to-use policy management engine within its latest release. That is not the only enhancement that Pulseway has included. To find out more, Enterprise Times spoke to Edgar Zacharjev, SVP of Product and Strategy at Pulseway.

Zacharjev explained the new policy management by saying, “Everything is tied towards scalability, allowing our partners to scale more smoothly and more streamed. We completely redesigned our policy management engine almost from the ground up. Now, it’s not affecting what is current. What it allows our customers to do is configure rules, settings, and automation, all based through the criteria of devices.

“So in an office environment, with 60 Windows machines, and you want to create a general policy. Now, you might have some exceptions in the office, and you might also have a couple of MacBook Pros, a couple of servers, and routers. Typically, you’d go ahead and create another policy for all those different devices. What we’re doing now is we’re allowing you to target the overall policy and then add these extensions. What if it’s a Windows laptop, then follow this protocol to notifications, to the automation, to the auto-remediation. But if it’s a MacBook, then do this instead.”

The new policy management engine effectively allows MSPs to create general policies for each customer and then extensions that modify the policy for specific machines or sets of machines within each customer. They could even take it a level higher and have a best-practice policy across their customer base or for highly regulated industries. In discussions with customers, they could then personalise those policies for each customer. This is a potentially huge time-saving.

MSPs will need to be careful when they create different extensions so that they do not conflict with one another.

How will this impact my existing policies?

Some customers will be concerned about how this new policy management impacts their existing, sometimes complex policies. Zachajev explained saying, “The way we designed it, we still mapped it to the old structure, which was sites, organisations, groups, etc. So that’s still in play. We call it the context page. That is still working. Now, you can add to that with the extensions, with the overrides, by the targeting. So you can enhance your existing policy or recreate it if you want.

“We were very careful not to impact existing customers and the policies they have already set up and put time into. They can just tack additional rules into it, add additional extensions, and overviews and have full visibility as well. We now give our clients complete visibility from the ground up, including at a root cause analysis level. If I’m going to troubleshoot a machine now, all the policies affecting that machine will be automatically visible and digestible as to what’s configured.”

The targeting supports a deeper level of device types or operating systems. For example, users can create policies for Dell or Lenovo computers. This granularity of policy management enables MSPs (Managed Service Providers) to better troubleshoot or roll out the updates correctly.

This is not about making it more complex. It was about helping customers that already manage up to 20,000 endpoints to streamline the policy management and make it easier for them.

What else is in Pulseway 9.5

A lot! This includes end-user reboot prompts on the screen, which enable them to defer reboots for a while if they are working on critical work. There are improvements to bulk actions with four new capabilities supported:

  • Run Script
  • Run Workflow
  • Move Devices
  • Delete Devices

There are updates to the automation/workflow engine to improve usability. Remote control is enhanced with automatic reconnection for Windows devices in several scenarios. Windows previously supported the blackout of users’ screens, so end users could not see what the engineer was doing, and this feature is now available for MacOS devices, too.

The API engines were also improved with this release, which focuses on platform information, Custom Data, and Object Filtering and support for more endpoints.

Edgar Zacharjev, SVP of Product and Strategy at Pulseway.
Edgar Zacharjev, SVP of Product and Strategy at Pulseway.

I asked Zacharjev what drives these improvements. He replied, “That allows our clients to go beyond what’s in the box. Whether you’re connecting the API to vending machines that you want to monitor or integrate to Teams, to Flow or with other vendors to integrate ticketing. The open APIs allow our clients to expand and customise Pulseway to their own experience with the data they collect. I use the API to connect it to a coffee machine. So from the Pulseway app, I can start my coffee brewing.”

Zacharjev noted, “We added new reports. In 9.4, we released advanced templates for the reporting engine. With this release, you’re getting patch compliance reports. So you can present it to your clients or internally to whatever you need to present.”

What is coming

Zacharjev also spoke about future releases, indicating that the focus would be the automation and policy engines. Pulseway workflows are very powerful, but customers are often unsure where to start.

Pulseway intends to help with this, with Zacharjev adding, “One of our big focuses is on the creation of content packs, for the workflows, for the policies for everything else to be out of the box, based on best practices across our customers, around different industries, with a lot of samples that our clients can activate out of the box. If you’re a net new client or a trial, we’re going to provision those auto policies for you. And then you can alter them so you’re not starting from scratch.”

This latest release included bulk actions, and Pulseway will look to roll out more in the future. These will include Windows updates, software installs, and bulk “process kills” across multiple machines (though this could be done using scripts currently).

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Considering that the November release (9.4) has some major updates, this is another impressive release by Pulseway. It has managed to add several features that will ease the burden of support, and the new policy management platform looks very flexible and extensive. It is also noteworthy that Pulseway has made the update seamless for existing users. For those organisations that have invested time and money into setting up policies, nothing is lost. If it had been, that would have been a disaster.

Pulseway will no doubt continue to iterate the platform in 9.6, but it isn’t clear what the next major jump in functionality will be. It will be exciting to watch.



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