Patching vendors love to tout solutions, but if you want to discover the true value of a tool, you need to talk to those who use it. With that in mind, we have rounded up five Kaseya VSA customers, to talk about how this RMM solution eases patching and secures their shops.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries
Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) of San Antonio, Texas relies heavily on VSA. With most breaches impacting unpatched computers, keeping machines up to date is an essential safeguard for the organization. “I use VSA for Windows patch management, instead of having to have three or four different servers just to manage the patches. Everything is agent driven right now. I have about a 92b percent patch rate within a week of when a new Microsoft patch is released. It is easy to set up. I did not have to tie in with everything else. You set up your policies and automation — and let it go,” said Roy Herron, systems analyst for MHM.
Multiplatform is also essential. “I am excited about the ability to patch Macs. Usually there is no centralized mechanism for that. In the enterprise arena, you usually build your own Mac server to do that. VSA cuts down on the cost of standing up different servers to do different things,” he said. A broad software reach is more than handy. “It patches third-party software, not just the Microsoft Windows updates. I patch Firefox, Java some Macromedia Flash. That is a big help. Otherwise, you probably have to send somebody out to physically patch each system, or spend tens of thousands of dollars on SCCM or SCE from Microsoft,” he said.
Meanwhile the unified interface makes tasks easier to perform and manage. “The single pane of glass lets me see a group of our users and patching states. I can push everything out from my desk. Over the course of the day, it saves me probably to three hours walking around,” he said.
Card MRI of San Pablo City, Philippines serves the poor in rural community with heath care, micro loans, education and housing. Raul Dizon, head of IT for CARD MRI, is concerned about compliance, and a big part of compliance is security, an issue of prime importance in its own right.
One serious threat is ransomware, and the latest ransomware wave was easily handled. “With regards to ransomware, we were notified about how to implement the patch and were able to deploy it in time,” Dizon remembers.
Computex Technology Solutions
Joel Garrison, senior systems engineer for cloud and managed services infrastructure at Computex Technology Solutions depends on VSA for proper patching of the MSP’s clients.
Today, patching is an important source monthly recurring revenue for Computex. “That’s where we make our money. Over time with VSA, we are able to get salespeople who used to just sell a customer a server and a SAN, and then go back five years later when we want to make more money,” Garrison explained. “Now, that salesperson can offer to do the patch management related to the server, the AV, and offer to use Kaseya Traverse to monitor the disk health of that SAN.”
Emerging IT is one of the top MSPs in Australia. In fact, the provider current manages more than 5,000 endpoints at over 280 clients – all with little more than 35 technicians — thanks to VSA by Kaseya.
Patching is one VSA service duty. “Patch management is very big. And with remote control, we are very agile with our helpdesk. We keep all our helpdesk in-house and do not outsource any of that. Having tools like VSA is key to our customer response times and meeting our SLAs,” said Noel Irvine, Emerging IT, sales and new technology director.
Richard “Billy” Wesley, IT manager for the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech has relied on Kaseya VSA for over 5 years to help manage IT operations for his group. As an IT pro, Wesley knows that the No. 1 way hackers have successful exploits is against unpatched computers. “It’s nice to see what patches we have and how many patches have successfully installed to local machines. We have about 800 endpoints and the majority of those are desktop computers,” Wesley said.
In early days, Wesley patched computers the old-fashioned way. Without a patch management tool, systems were updated on a one-by-one basis. Now automation is the key. “Back in the day, when patching, we had to go to each office and each computer, check the updates and run the updates. It takes a lot more time, a lot more manpower. VSA has saved us an immense amount of time,” Wesley said.
Patch management is a key area where IT automation is applied. “Since we can set up silent installs and have the system do it for us, we can schedule it at times when folks aren’t at work. They are not at their desks if we need to reboot the computer. We can schedule it at night or on the weekends and can also make sure that the same process is happening on each machine,” Wesley said.
VSA also helps keep Java updated. This is critical, as Java is now one of the most exploited pieces of software, making it a huge security risk. “With our Java updater, we check registry keys to see if Java is even on the machine. I can run the update; it will check and see if there is a registry key. If it says Java is on this machine, it will uninstall the current version and install the new version. If it does not see it, or we do not want Java on this machine, it will not install it. With applications like Java, it’s better if they’re not installed in the first place,” Wesley said.
The University of Kentucky Office of Research Services
The University of Kentucky Office of Research Services’ (RIS’) Steve Creager has been using Kaseya VSA for over a half decade. Creager is responsible for managing some 400 PCs.
With VSA’s ability to automate IT functions, RIS can stay ahead of issues such as patches. “What the people we support like about us using Kaseya is we can be more proactive in giving them help. We are more proactive in upgrading stuff at night when they are not at their desk. They don’t have to be away from their desk while somebody is sitting there doing updates to software, do patch management, or stuff like that,” said Creager, technical support manager for RIS.
VSA is all about turning manual IT tasks into automated functions. RIS applies IT automation to many areas. “IT automation helps with patch management. And we love the policy management module. That lets us keep everything on the same level without having to go through and individually add each new computer that comes into our server center,” Creager said.
Learn more about your business can benefit from the software management capabilities of VSA by Kaseya.