Ask the Expert

Agent vs. agentless patch management

We are looking at a more robust patch management solution in the mold of BigFix Enterprise Suite or Shavlik HFNetChkPro. We had been relying on Automatic Updates for the 1000 or so desktops and laptops we support, but we had a few problems with Zotob and decided to look into a more complete solution (budget suddenly became available). We do have a few users who occasionally work from home and while most of the PCs are Windows XP we have about 10-15% Windows 2000 OSs. The big difference between those two products above is agent based vs. agentless, what are the pros and cons of each approach?
This is a common topic of debate in patch management circles. Some general pros of agent and agentless patch management include:

Pros of agentless:

  • Ease of deployment (no software to install on host computers)
  • Reduced licensing costs
  • Reduced management effort
  • Pros of agents:

  • More operational control
  • Agents typically enhance scanning and monitoring capabilities
  • Can often patch a wider range of applications
  • This was first published in September 2005

    There are Comments. Add yours.

    TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

    REGISTER or login:

    Forgot Password?
    By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
    Sort by: OldestNewest

    Forgot Password?

    No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

    Your password has been sent to: