Updating systems is a regular activity for any IT Systems Administrator, yet its importance lies in when, how, and why.
Many years back, updating systems were not very popular, mainly because the technology was limited to and only applied to devices created for it, making it sort of a close system.
With the introduction of IPv4, a revolution started. It became a standard to make these devices seemingly solitary to ‘talk’ to other lone devices. Eventually, the internet became what it is now, and we want everything interconnected.
This interoperability, as we can now see, creates this amalgam of conditions that affect our systems and operations, including other systems and devices. At its core, it impacts your business in a wide degree range from nuisance to disaster.
Knowing this will help us understand why, how, and when updating must be carried out and implemented. An administrator’s steps to update the systems and the frequency are essential; to this end, we will enumerate the critical observations before starting an update in a small environment with not many different systems integrated.
The first reason you need to consider is why. The significant observations are security, compatibility & operability.
Cybersecurity: as you may be aware, this is the first; if the patch is to secure your systems, it increases the priority to do so, yet the other observations weigh on it as well.
Compatibility: your systems are interconnected; verifying that updating will not cause any other systems or the updated system to stop operating as required by your users; as you walk this one, you consider all systems interacting with or dependant on the system modified.
Operability: Will it increase my team efficiency? Shorten time? Automate a process or fix an issue.
When all these checks out, we go into the next how. What is required to be updated? Does it disrupt your current operations or any of your users? How long will it take to complete, and does it interrupt any business core operations or activities?
Most of the time, these questions are plain to you to understand the why; in many cases is better to have a set day & time to perform such changes or updates, allowing a window to fix any extra steps needed to complete the update. This last one pushes you into the when.
As we approach the when you must understand that this is not just operationally important but also may affect uptime. If the patch has a problem, we all have seen how a patch can break a system. To that end, we have to see what is in the patch mostly by revising the patch notes and comments; there, you may find any issues with the patch on other users & administrators.
Keeping the systems patched and updated is imperative, but ultimately, what you want is operating at optimum performance. Here is where Your Own IT Plan (YOTP) from MPcTech LLC comes into action; we automate this process and have a team performing this collectively; We will identify when a patch is problematic before deploying our clients.
This knowledge will transfer to your systems as uptime, security & stability, making your business systems run smoothly. In case of issues, we can resolve them with lightning speed and accuracy.