Feb 19, 2021. By Aleena Mathew
Patch management is a big concern for every large enterprise IT. Everyone is pleased with the concept of having a recent update or version release as it may fix previous bugs or issues and be more stable and compatible to the environment. As software providers release their updates, the application administrators need to keep track of these updates and install them appropriately into their systems. But one of the major concerns that are mainly faced here is the installation and set up of these new versions. Some changes might be risky and setting up the process of updating is even more hectic in a large enterprise. Old patches may not be compatible with the environment and also break the normal run of the system. Moreover, getting an operator just for handling the update process just add-on the operational cost. So, the question, how can the process of patch management be done efficiently without breaking the existing environment and also without adding up extra manual effort?
The solution to the above concern is to have an automated system that can efficiently and automatically handle all the version releases that are required. The concept of automated patch management is brought into the picture. The need for having a manual operator and also the chance of manual errors to occur is avoided. Moreover, a patch installation risk can also be eliminated, as the automated system manages the risk and the process execution with a high level of accuracy. However, how is this automation made possible?
AI-Based Patch Automation:
Artificial Intelligence in Patch Automation is the perfect solution. By artificial intelligence, we have seen how effectively we can automate the majority of the ITOps activity. Patch automation is also one such area where AI can be of great use. Let us see how this is made possible and how it effectively benefits IT enterprise at a large scale. AI in patch automation will have a system built-in for handling each of the software patches required for the system. The AI-based patch automation system will continuously monitor the entire system software present in the IT landscape. Based on this analysis, the system will list the set of software that has a new version change.Once such a patch update is noted or found by the system, it will automatically be alerted as a change request. In this way, efficiently, we can manage any new patch installation that is required. Regularly and manually checking new patch releases from the software provider is a challenging activity. The AI system will automatically handle all the needed processes to drive a new patch.
Patch Automation Use-case:
Let's look into a scenario of how the AI-based patch automation works with an example. Let's take an instance where a database, for example, MySQL, comes up with a new version release. And the current version of this database is MySQL 8.0. But at some later point, the latest version for the DB comes, say MySQL 8.0.23. The AI-based patch automation system will automatically understand that a new version is released for MySQL by the in-built web scraper mechanism. This patch will then be subjected to a risk assessment process. A risk score is generated for the corresponding patch that indicates the risk factor for downloading that particular patch. This will show if the patch is risky for installing into the system. Based on this, a change request will be initiated for the corresponding version change. The next phase after initiating the change request is the automated installation of the patch. The AI-based system will initiate the entire process of installation of the software patch.
By adopting AI, every enterprise IT benefits from the capability of patch automation. This helps in saving a lot of operational time. High precision is achieved in the entire patch installation life cycle. Patch management in a large enterprise is easily handled out without any chaos.
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