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Escaping The Patch Management Cycle With Auto Deployment

Kris PowellKris Powell

Do you enjoy repetitive tasks, busy work, and thoughtless clicking of buttons? If you do, then this blog might not be for you. This blog is for people looking for a better solution to patch management and software updates.

Are you staying late at work trying to update all of your machines to the latest version of Java, Flash, Chrome, etc? We feel ya. We’ve all been there.

Unless you’re a robot who enjoys repetitive tasks, everybody has better things to do than to worry about manual patch management and software updates. After all, those cans of Dr Pepper and Corgi videos aren’t going to enjoy themselves.

Well, today’s your lucky day, friend! PDQ Deploy has this fabulous feature called Auto Deployment that makes patch management and software updates an absolute snap!

Patch Management and Software Updates

We all have software that needs updating. If you’re managing computers, then you are probably well aware of the challenge of keeping all of your computers up-to-date.

The Old Inefficient Way – One by one

Updating every computer one at a time is a very slow process. It’s prone to problems and sadness… but mostly sadness.Here’s what this process typically looks like:

  • Finding and downloading the latest software

  • Physically going to a computer

  • Bonus points if you use a remote solution

  • Running the installer

  • Click clickity clicking through the installer

  • Waiting for the installer to finish

  • Crying a little bit on the inside

  • Rinse and repeating for every single computer

First of all, nobody likes this approach. Why? Because it’s full of hair-pulling and sadness. Unfortunately, this is common at many places.

The better way – Auto Deployment with PDQ Deploy

With the Auto Deployment approach, here is what patch management could look like:

  • Sitting back and relaxing

  • Learning PowerShell (check out our PowerShell blogs!)

  • Annoying your co-workers with paper airplanes

  • Drinking a beer (or two)

  • Smiling with the knowledge that you don’t have to manually install software for all of your computers!

I don’t know about you, but this process sounds much more appealing than the hair-pulling and eye-gouging that comes with manual software updates. Also, it takes all the busy work out and replaces it with valuable free time.Sounds nice, right? So, let’s get on with the good stuff and show you how to set it up!

Patch Management Done Right – Auto Deployment with PDQ Deploy

So, what is Auto Deployment? Auto Deployment is a feature in PDQ Deploy that allows you to automatically deploy new versions of software packages as they become available in the PDQ Deploy Package Library. We test these packages thoroughly to ensure that they install silently and are prepped for full automation. As a result, this means that you can rest assured that the software will work for you the first time. (Read more about the Package Library here – link)

Configuring Auto Deployment

Setting up Auto Deployment in PDQ Deploy consists of 3 easy steps:

  1. Create a Schedule

  2. Attach a Schedule to a Package in the Package Library

  3. Enjoy your new free time

So, pop open PDQ Deploy and follow along!

Create a schedule

Click New Schedule in PDQ Deploy

Add a Schedule Name

Add triggers

Add target computers

Attach a schedule to a package in the Package Library

Select Package Library.

Select a Package.

Select New Auto Deployment using existing schedule.

Select your schedule and click OK.

Now, your new Auto Deployment package will show up in its own fancy section. It will run according to the schedule and triggers that you defined.

Enjoy your new free time

Of course, enjoying free time is up to you. Since you have just saved a lot of time and effort by using Auto Deployment, you should pat yourself on the back and go do something fun.

Extra things to consider

While this is just one simple example of an Auto Deployment setup, you may find that you have different needs. Because of this, we allow for many different configurations since everybody has different needs.Here are some common questions we get about Auto Deployment packages:

Can I have multiple Auto Deployment packages in a single schedule?

Yes!You can attach a mixture of Auto Deployment packages and regular packages to a single schedule.

Can I install older versions of software? 

You bet!Just like any package in the Package Library, you can choose older versions of software to install automatically.

Can I test Auto Deployment packages before deploying them to all of my machines?

Of course!With the Auto Deployment Approval Policy, you can set each Auto Deployment to approve updates immediately, manually, or on a schedule. It’s up to you and your needs.This is configured in the Preferences.

Can I modify the Auto Deployment package? 

Definitely!We allow the ability to create pre-steps and post-steps within an Auto Deployment package. Just double-click your Auto Deployment package to open up the editor.

Check out our PDQ Deploy Help Documentation for more detailed info.

Still not convinced? Watch a quick demo!

Wrapping Up

As you can see, we really turn it up to 11 with Auto Deployment for your patch management and software updates. So, do yourself a favor and try it out! Otherwise, you’ll kick yourself for not finding this solution sooner!

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