Here is my latest question of the week.
I'm currently working on our currently patching procedures, with the end goal being to turn much of the monitoring and escalation of any issues during the actual Maintenance Window over to our Operations Department. I've piloted the new BladeLogic Portal application, and while a very good concept and on paper would fit our need rather well, I couldn't get it to work the way I needed to in the short window I have to finish this project.
I've been pouring over all the Best Practices documents and videos out there, searching for ideas, but I'm still confused. First a little about our environment.
We have a handful of Windows Admins, who all handle patching for their respective customers. Each tech does their patching a little differently. Some use very specific Patch Jobs with specific targets identified, while others have very generic jobs, that they just re-run each time on the different target groups as needed. I originally thought I would be able to baseline all the patch jobs into one or two, and then run specific Execution Tasks pointing to the individual target groups, each with a easily identifiable name, but that wouldn't work either.
A lot of months, we have other items we lump into our patching windows, like agent updates, virusscan agent updates, etc. That got me going down the path of lumping them all into a batch job and kicking it off that way, but I think that has it's downfalls also. For instance, would I still be able to run the Analyze, simulate and stage the patches, and then run the other needed product updates, and then come back after that's all done and kick off the commit?
As you can see, my head is whirling with all the possibilities out there in BSA, but since I'm reinventing the whole process from the ground up, I want to make sure I do it in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
Also, when it's all said and done, the managers and other folks up there in the tower, want to be able to have documented proof of the success and/or failure of these jobs, and that's causing me some pain also. I can't seem to find the perfect report to give them what they need, and I'm in no way a BDSSA guru, so trying to build the report from scratch is proving daunting as well.
Any ideas out there?