Microsoft’s flagship IT product is the SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager). It’s a suite of products that manage your entire IT landscape.

It can be deployed in a few steps and has a lot of automation built-in to make it easy to use. It’s one of the most popular products for IT admins, and companies of all sizes use it.

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About Microsoft SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager)

Not long ago, patch management was a laborious and time-consuming process for IT departments. Developers and IT admins have to individually download patches and install them, one at a time, on their computers.

Today, with the help of automation tools such as Microsoft SCCM, Solarwind Patch Manager, and a few others, IT departments can take care of patch deployment and management with a few simple clicks. This saves time and money and helps keep systems running smoothly.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a software management and lifecycle management platform used by organizations to manage the software and hardware assets across their IT infrastructure. It provides software inventory, software deployment, software updates, and configuration management for physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure.

It also provides device management for Windows, Microsoft, and third-party software, such as email, security, and browser plugins. Microsoft SCCM is a software-only product that provides cloud-based or on-premises processing to deploy, update, secure, and manage software and hardware.

It is used by companies of all sizes and scales to deploy and manage software across large enterprise networks. The goal of SCCM is to help IT administrators effectively and efficiently manage their Microsoft workloads by deploying, managing, and updating their infrastructure more securely.

It is a powerful IT management tool that provides automated, on-demand infrastructure, software, operating system deployment, and patch management capabilities for servers, desktops, and mobile devices.

It also helps users to get the most out of their devices, such as managing which apps get downloaded and automatically updating software and operating system patches to improve their productivity and lower the cost of maintaining their devices.

System Center Configuration Manager helps organizations to reduce their operational costs and enhance their business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.

According to the most recent analysis, the size of the global patch management market is anticipated to increase from USD 652 million in 2022 to USD 1084 million by 2027, increasing at a CAGR of 10.7%.

Why is SCCM so well-liked by businesses and has a large user base?

It has been in use for a long time and has a sizable installed user base.

Here are a few factors that contribute to SCCM’s widespread adoption among different organizations:

  • It is a multifaceted corporate management system created to centralize and streamline the management of endpoints such as servers, desktops, laptops, and other computing devices across physical and virtual environments.
  • It provides unified administration of workloads running on Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, VMware, and Hyper-V.
  • It is incredibly versatile for most deployment needs due to its extraordinary capacity to interact with various tools and platforms.
  • Because of its strong programming language capabilities, developers can easily create customizations and integrations while it is highly complex to do with other tools.
  • It helps you manage your infrastructure more cost-effectively, quickly, and with greater uptime.

Alternatives to Microsoft SCCM

Professionals and businesses looking for an alternative to SCCM that performs a comparable task but offers greater versatility or looking for SCCM extensions might consider the following solutions.

But before proceeding, let’s see a few SCCM limitations:

Limited support to the hybrid environment: Because SCCM was designed primarily for Windows systems, updates and functionality is centered on Windows. Linux and Mac operating systems can be controlled to a certain extent on non-Windows platforms.

High costs to adopt: SCCM is typically sold as a component of a bigger toolkit from Microsoft and is pricey for non-enterprise businesses. Its on-premises solution needs a SQL server to function, which increases continuing running costs and maintenance resource needs.

Limitations on patching third-party applications: Although SCCM adds greater support for third-party programs than WSUS, its ability to patch third-party applications is still somewhat constrained.

Solarwind Patch Manager

Solarwind Patch Manager is a web-based patch management platform for all types of organizations to manage and patch Windows, macOS, and Linux computers. It is used by admins to deploy, configure, and update security patches across their network, servers, and applications. It helps companies to keep their devices secure and functioning properly with automatic updates and security fixes.

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The platform can easily integrate with Microsoft SCCM, extend its capabilities, and simplify third-party patching with pre-built, industry-tested, and ready-to-deploy packages. Thus, the Solarwind is used for managing large-scale cybersecurity and infrastructure protection.

IT professionals can also use the platform to configure other security best practices such as logging, monitoring, and alerts. It also provides a framework for building custom policies and workflows, enabling sophisticated application and network protection.

Top Features

  • An intuitive user interface makes it easy to manage your patches, while powerful APIs let you automate almost everything that needs to be deployed in the network.
  • Enable on-demand patching for production systems and manage patch lifecycles for individual machines, virtual machines, and hypervisors
  • Export and import patch data and extensive reporting capabilities to fulfill compliance standards.
  • Visualize and analyze the health of your patching infrastructure

Solarwind Patch Manager provides customers a single, secure location to manage, store, and distribute updates to their Windows, network, third-party applications, and virtual machine infrastructure. The software can be tried for 30 days, free of cost, before deploying in the live environment.

ManageEngine Endpoint Central

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is a powerful endpoint management platform that helps organizations detect, respond to, and prevent threats across their entire endpoints—including PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.

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It combines powerful endpoint detection and response capabilities with powerful malware and vulnerability management tools to help organizations prevent endpoint-related issues that could impact their business.

It is a versatile platform designed to manage a highly heterogeneous environment consisting of mixed OS (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone OS). It supports various endpoints like desktops, smartphones, tablets, servers, point-of-sale devices, virtual machines, thin clients, and other network components.

It provides a single interface for managing all your endpoint security products, from antivirus to web filtering and identity management to spam filters.

Top Features

  • Its centralized management console aids in managing endpoint security, vulnerability management, and compliance across the organizations.
  • Effective third-party patching: Support for 850+ third-party programs.
  • It allows you to control your security in real-time and provides you with advanced threat hunting capabilities to ensure your data safety.
  • Strong reporting functionality: More than 200 built-in reports are available, and they may be readily exported in XLSX or CSV format.
  • Granular reboot policy: Based on user requirements, the reboot of the system can be postponed after patching the system.

Manageengine Endpoint Central is a powerful suite of tools that help businesses manage physical, virtual, and digital assets and stay compliant. Considering its vast reachability, it can be the best replacement for Microsoft SCCM. Read more about its advantages over SCCM.

The software is available free of cost for 25 computers and 25 mobile devices. Its other versions are paid, which support a larger database of computers with more functions.  

Jumpcloud Patch management

The Jumpcloud Patch management platform helps teams manage and deploy network patches. It provides a single place to manage all of your patching needs, from finding and testing new patches to deploying them to your network.

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The platform offers a dashboard where you can examine a list of your current patches and their status, enabling you to keep informed and take immediate action in the event of any problems. The platform assists in removing OS, browser, and application vulnerabilities by automatically applying patches that keep devices secure and up to date.

Jumpcloud has simplified patch management, allowing users to quickly create schedules and manage device patching from a single interface. Users can now achieve improved OS, browser, and application version control and enhance device security while adhering to organizational compliance requirements.

Top Features

  • Centralized control and visibility of hybrid environments such as Windows, macOS, Ubuntu Linux, etc
  • The feasibility of developing a patch rollout timetable that is efficient and realistic and guided by rules based on user groups, device groups, or both.
  • Customized alerts are sent to specific or all groups, and automatic enforcement based on user behavior.
  • Ability to apply patches to your entire Jumpcloud infrastructure in one go.

Jumpcloud environment allows you to manage your patches for a range of operating systems and software applications, all from one dashboard. This saves you time and money and reduces risk in your environment. It is free for 10 uses and 10 devices, and its premium version starts from $2 per user per month.

Automox Patch Management

Automox is one of the tools which easily integrates into existing tools, including Microsoft SCCM. At any size, only Automox offers total visibility and management for each and every Windows, macOS, and Linux endpoint from a single platform.

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Cloud-based Automox enforces OS & third-party patching together with security parameters in place, thereby significantly reducing the time, effort, and complexity involved in administering the fundamental elements of cyber hygiene.

This cloud-native console has uniqueness like grouping devices to simplify cross-platform management. Without the use of multiple tools and software, the platform aids in patching vulnerabilities, installing the necessary software, and correcting incorrectly configured systems through a single window.

Top Features

  • Data exchange over Automox takes place through top-notch security measures such as Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for key negotiation, and AES-128 or better encryption is used.
  • Scripting in PowerShell and Bash to automate and enforce actions on endpoints.
  • The platform is easy to start patching more quickly and effectively, resulting in a reduction in time and cost of endpoint administration by up to 80%.
  • The endpoint agent was created using a modern systems language and includes safeguards against frequent coding mistakes that could result in security flaws.

Automox is one of the advanced versions in this category, allowing automated cross-OS patching, third-party patching, and providing complete infrastructure visibility. The software can be tested for 15 days free of cost.

NinjaOne Patch Management

According to G2, NinjaOne is the best remote monitoring and management tool, with a patching score of 93 out of 100. Its top-rated features include patch management, remote monitoring, application deployment, and asset management.

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By automatically identifying, downloading, and broadly deploying OS and application fixes, its automation minimizes the need for human interaction. One of the distinguishing features is that, in addition to a strong patching platform, it offers remote management capabilities that make it easier to swiftly discover and fix patching problems.

The software carries the patching activity uninterruptedly by deploying scripts to the system before and/or after a patch to terminate operating processes that may disrupt the patching process.

Top Features

  • Speedy patching process: Patching is done quickly by automatically identifying, approving, deploying, and reporting patches to all endpoints.
  • Identifies and fixes vulnerabilities almost instantly
  • Patches 100+ third-party software automatically.
  • Possibility of wake-on-lane-free device awakening prior to patch scans and patch updates.

NinjaOne is one platform that every IT administrator would use to simplify IT operations efficiently, manage their complete IT range, and provide support to end users from anywhere. Its top features like automation, endpoint monitoring, remote management, and data protection would surely add value to the organization to secure your IT environment.

Why is Patch Management Important?

With every day that goes by, the number of cyber-attacks on companies of all sizes is rising rapidly. Making sure that every hardware and software in the network is updated can be a difficult, time-consuming, and costly affair for businesses.

The below few points state how patch management eases the job of patching throughout the infrastructure:

  • Patch management is the process of managing changes to a computer system in order to keep it safe, reliable, and up-to-date. It is an ongoing process to ensure that the system always operates at its optimal performance.
  • Patches must be applied promptly and tested thoroughly to ensure they have the desired effect. A patch management system helps ensure that patches are deployed promptly and are effective so that they don’t disrupt the organization’s day-to-day business operations.
  • Patch management is essential for keeping your systems running effectively and ensuring they can withstand attacks in the future. It also helps you to avoid the risk of costly downtime by installing patches before a problem surfaces.
  • Patch management tools can remove unused or untested patches, improving system uptime and performance. It may also provide additional protection against security vulnerabilities by ensuring that only verified and trusted patches are applied to the systems.

Conclusion

Since patching is a routine mandatory task for every company, patch management makes this job effortless, cost-effective, and timely. There are several patch management software options, and a company’s choice will entirely depend on its needs. You may undoubtedly get a peek at this platform from the above post.