Dell and Microsoft are to combine their patch management programs, making it easier for users to secure their servers.
Dell will combine its OpenManage 4 server management software with Microsoft’s installation software, Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 to allow users to simultaneously update both hardware and software with the latest patches.
Kevin Rollins, Dell’s president and CEO, said its customers report frequent security updates and software patches were the “number one business pain” encountered.
“People needed one tool to update software, one to update hardware and one for applications. We’ve collaborated with Microsoft in a ‘one-tool’ initiative,” Rollins explained.
“Of the $140bn that will be spent on systems management this year, only 6% will be on software,” said Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s server division, Bob Muglia. “Most of the spending is on people.”
The joint initiative will reduce time spent updating software and applying patches, and free IT staff for less mundane matters. Microsoft issued 60 patches in 2003, and 20 in October of this year alone.
Dell is in talks with RedHat and Novell regarding a similar service for its Linux-using customers. Microsoft indicated similar arrangements with other hardware manufacturers might be forthcoming.