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How do I centralise updates for applications like firefox, acrobat reader, java, flash etc

Posted on 2009-04-21
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I would like to have a sus style server for application upgrades like patching for Adobe Products, Apple products, JAVA, Firefox etc.  Anyone done something similar?
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Question by:nashton99
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vertsyeux earned 1500 total points
ID: 24192679
Your problem is going to be that there is no "standard" updating strategy across all the applications you are using.. Moreover, most applications won't update unless the user has administrator privileges, plus some applications (I won't mention) consider an update reinstalling the latest version of their package, and in some cases, re-registering it!!

We have several hundred Pc's across all our clients' sites, all running XP.. Every user is a restricted user and nothing important can be changed by users - even the application desktop icons are stored in ...\All Users\Desktop and ...\All Users\Start Menu so that the users can't delete them accidentally..

We use various commercial and open source applications, and our strategy is to keep the automatic updates for almost everything - including Windows - switched off and send a tech round once every few months to update each machine from a central networked folder or thumb-drive..

This tack has served us exceptionally well for a number of years.. Not only are users not being constantly bothered by requests for update, but it has completely halted the "dreaded Tuesday" when routine Microsoft updates would stop dozens of machines from running applications, printing, booting etc..
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24192764
If you have an xServe, you can centralize your Apple updates via update services on the xServe in conjuction with OD.

Alternatively, if you want a system that will support ALL apps, Apple and non Apple, check out jamF Casper. http://www.jamf.com
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24192796
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24354027
It's too bad that you have accepted that as your answer because through GPOs, and other centralized settings, you CAN manage. all of your apps for updates.  I have been doing this for a number of years using various solutions.  

Yes, there is work to be done by you in the back office.

Yes you do have to get your company's management on board with your plan to keep computers updated.  I have two policies; one for desktops that run updates monthly at like 3am in the mornings.  I also have a second policy that forces updates on Laptop users when they connect to the corporate LAN.

I am a staff of one with 170 Windows desktops and laptops, 70 Mac desktop and laptops and three offices in different cities.  I rarely visit anyone's machines.  But if you plan it right, it can be done with applications such as JamF's Casper and Patchlink....
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by:nashton99
ID: 24358142
Nappy D, I liked the solution, but unfortunately the company I am currently working for didn't accept the solution, there are about 15 Macs OSXish, and 3000 PC Clients, 500+ Notebooks, and 250 Servers spread accross 20+ Countries, and to be honest it is almost easier to install and get the IT Staff on site and reboot in the morning. I will be trying again in the near future so may be back seeking your advice.  Thanks again
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24358846
Fair enough. So you know, we do this also across 2500 machines across NA. Under my management are just three offices with roughly 250 client machines.
We then have another arm in S. America, Europe and Asia that replicate the same process for their region of the world.
Good luck.
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