This topic provides an overview of patch management in BMC Server Automation, and introduces the set of tasks required to prepare for, set up, and execute patch management jobs.
Patch management refers to the acquisition, testing, and installation of patches.
The patch administrator analyzes individual servers to determine which patches must be acquired and installed to comply with organizational standards. BMC Server Automation automates the process of building and maintaining a patch repository, analyzing target servers, and, if necessary, packaging and deploying patches. At the end of the process, reports are available to show compliance.
(Windows patching only) VMware Update Agent (VUM) uses the same stPatchAssessment.dll file that is used by Shavlik Protect Patch Engine. If you install the VMWare Update Agent on a machine with an RSCD agent, it unregisters the stPatchAssessment.dll file and you cannot perform patching on the target.
The patch management feature in BMC Server Automation supports the following operating systems:
Multibos and Alternate disk patching is supported on AIX platforms, see Patching support for multibos and alternate disk on AIX.
For detailed information about supported operating systems and versions, see the BMC Solution and Product Availability and Compatibility Utility.
Patch management is supported for HP-UX and CentOS using an external tool called Vendor Patch Content (VPC). VPC is included as part of BMC Server Automation. For more information, see Performing HP-UX or CentOS patch analysis using Vendor Patch Content.
An additional, separate VPC package is provided for patch management on Solaris 11. For more information, see Performing script-based patch analysis for Solaris 11.
Supported platforms for storing patch repositories
Any Windows or Linux server
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Based on the version of RHEL patching you are performing, the supported patch repository platforms are as follows:
For RHEL 6 or earlier: Any RPM-based Linux server
For RHEL 7: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
Oracle Enterprise Linux
|Any RPM-based Linux server|
The repository server can be any Linux server. However some SUSE-specific patches need to be stored only on a SUSE repository.
BMC strongly recommends that you use a SUSE Linux server for storing the patch repository.
|Any AIX server|
Any Windows or Linux server
Note: If you are using Solaris 11 patches, you can only use a Solaris 11 server for storing the patch repository.
Any Windows or Linux server
|Any Windows or Linux server|
|Cent OS||Any Linux server|
|Fujitsu||Any Windows or Linux server|
|HP-UX||If you are using the offline patch downloader you can use any Windows or Linux server to store the patch repository. However, if you are using the VPC method you must store the patch repository only on a HP-UX server.|
BMC Server Automation includes two patch management modes:
Use Offline mode if you work in an air-gapped environment, where the BMC Server Automation Application Server does not have external Internet access. In Offline mode, you use the BMC offline Patch Downloader utility to download metadata and payload information to a server with Internet access. After downloading, you can transfer the metadata and payload information (using removable storage) to the patch repository within the air-gapped environment.
The Patch Downloader utilities run scripts that use XML configuration files (samples are provided) containing required information such as the repository location, as well as filters used during downloading from the vendor website.
Patch management consists of the following tasks:
These tasks are described in more detail in the following table:
Defining role-based permissions
To create or update a catalog, you must be assigned a role that includes the necessary permissions. To facilitate division of responsibilities, you can assign permissions to one role or divide them between several roles.
Configuring Global Configuration parameters
Global Configuration parameters provide basic information used during patch catalog creation and updating, as well as for Patch and Remediation Jobs. The following parameter groups are available:
Defining the location of Microsoft Windows installation media for Microsoft Office patch deployment
(Windows only) To deploy Microsoft Office patches, BMC Server Automation must have access to a network location containing installation media for Microsoft Office. Because target servers can run different versions of Microsoft Office, you might need to specify a different location for each target server or smart group.
Building an offline patch repository
(Offline mode only)
Obtaining the Patch Downloader utilities from BMC
From the BMC EPD site, download the appropriate utilities for building your offline repository. The utilities are platform-specific. You must know which platform you plan to use to download your patches.
Preparing XML configuration files for downloading patch content
Use the utilities that you downloaded from the BMC EPD site to prepare the XML configuration files for downloading the patch content.
Downloading patches to the offline patch repository
To download the patch content, use the utilities that you downloaded from the BMC EPD site and the XML configuration files that you prepared.
Creating and updating a patch catalog
For both types of repositories, online and offline, you create a patch catalog using the BMC Server Automation Console. Patches are added to the catalog as depot objects according to filters that you define for the catalog.
Creating and running a Patching and Remediation Job
A Patching Job has two parts: