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Looking for an automated Linux patching solution for RHEL and Ubuntu

Posted on 2015-01-07
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Last Modified: 2015-10-26
We have around 100 Linux servers here 90% virtual in VMware and about 50 Ubuntu, 25 RHEL 5 & 6, 12 CentOS and a few other stray items like a Solaris box etc.

We are looking for some type of an automated patch management product for these - ideally one that can handle all the various OS types - and hopefully not Tivoli due to cost and complexity to maintain.

What's out there either OpenSource or commercial that's good & reliable but not a huge time sink to keep running?? We need to be PCI compliant and doing this by hand is obviously terribly time and resource intensive. We DON'T want to go the automated OS patching route unless we can control what gets patched and when without touching every box (once on setup I one thing but to continually revisit each server is another).

Thanks,
George Kasica
Sr. Systems Administrator
Connecture.com
Brookfield WI
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Question by:George R. Kasica
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Expert Comment

by:Joseph Gan
ID: 40536536
For RHEL servers patching you can use Red Hat Satellite management tool.
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Expert Comment

by:Joseph Gan
ID: 40536539
There is an open source of Satellite called Spacewalk, which could support for CentOS as well.
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Author Comment

by:George R. Kasica
ID: 40536545
OK. I've seen that as well as Chef and one called puppet but know nothing of any of them. I'll take a look
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Author Comment

by:George R. Kasica
ID: 40536557
It doesn't look like Satellite will do the Ubuntu servers which are the largest portion of what we have and most of our production servers.
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Accepted Solution

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Phil Davidson earned 500 total points
ID: 41124509
You could use Puppet or Chef.  

If you don't want to implement a CM tool, you could have an internal server for the Ubuntu updates and update the /etc/apt/sources.list files on the servers, and a RedHat satellite server internally for the RedHat server patches.  You could have cron jobs to run apt-get install on Ubuntu and yum on RedHat servers.
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Author Closing Comment

by:George R. Kasica
ID: 41124566
We initially went with the internal repository and modifying the sources files but finally given the low cost on the Ubuntu and that it comes with 24/7 support as well we're using their landscape product. All but 6 of our servers are Ubuntu so the 6 centOS are manageable manually and getting converted over as well so it will soon be a non issue. Thank you for to reply we were looking at both chef and puppet.
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