Apple’s patch process and the enterprise

Here you go.   IT departments have realized that they cannot apply their Microsoft system administration formula to Macs.

Microsoft releases its patches on patch Tuesday.  By the following week, a cracker jack IT department will have tried it out on each of the PCs they support from the past 3 model years and their 3 major PC vendors to make sure the patch does not cripple any group of users.  They then meticulously build system images of the upgraded OS on each platform and roll it out in the dead of the night, rebooting their users machines while they sleep, and brace for the impact the following day.  In the mean time, the users continue to be exposed to the threat the patch addresses.

In contrast, Apple releases a patch for its systems after testing it on its own hardware.  So like if you installed OS X on a EeePC, the patch is going to mess you up.  On the other hand if you’re running a genuine Mac (like an Enterprise would), you (the user) punch update and it pretty much works.  No IT department intervention needed.  The security patch protects you right now; no waiting for Tuesday.

Now there are exceptions to both scenarios, to be sure.  But I know which one sounds messiest.  Its the one that keeps the IT staff busily employed.

Apple’s patch process a mess, say researchers

“You get an update from Apple and it’s always a surprise,” Storms said. “The first thing you do is sit down with your team, look at the update, set priorities and assign resources. And then the next day, another update arrives, and you have to do it all over again.

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Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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