Numara Patch Manager 9.1.1
Strengths: Patch management capabilities are very solid
Weaknesses: Numerous licensing and module options. Menu items are sometimes seven or eight levels deep
Verdict: Solid value for money, worth exploring for any size organisation
Numara's Patch Manager is one of eight modules integrated into the Numara Asset Management Platform (AMP) solution. Our review was limited to just the Patch Manager module.
Patch Manager can be deployed on Linux, Unix, Windows or Mac OS, but for our installation we chose a Windows platform and Microsoft SQL Server as the database backend. A typical architecture for the solution includes a master server, console and client agents.
Installation was very easy, as the product is fairly user-friendly with regards to getting started and installing. From the start, the dashboard interface is easy to navigate and contains a handful of wizards to manage the major patch management tasks.
A master server provides patch repository information as well as an inventory of hardware, application, security and other ancillary information for each node.
There are many options available for the discovery of hosts. We did not find any obvious method to scan or discover a network and its assets, however. Instead, administrators must initialise an agent roll-out wizard before discovery, which then presents the ability to scan for hosts. We feel that the discovery of hosts should be a fundamental first step.
Additionally, the data that is captured at the host level is very impressive, but sometimes those nuggets are accessed through seven or eight levels of collapsible and expandable menu items for every single element. This makes the navigation pane feel slightly clunky at times. Although this presents administrators with a wealth of information, ease of use suffers a bit.
Overall, the solution definitely delivers on the ability to deploy patches and run quality reports.
Documentation for the product is available as an html-based help file and is quite extensive. Email and phone (12/5) support is included as an 18-25 per cent maintenance fee and there are multiple support packages available. The Numara website offers a knowledgebase and online support access as well.
Numara Patch Manager is a solid patch management solution for any size of organisation. At £7 per node, it offers good value for the money.