Bigfix Newsletter


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Bigfix Newsletter

  1. 1. CASE STUD Y Bigfix simplifies it operations and reduces costs for chichester school district Customer Overview customer Chichester School District vertical industry State and Local Government challenges • Lack of visibility with previous patching product • Inefficient, complicated and manual software distribution and patching process The Chichester School District is a regional school district in Delaware County, PA whose mission is to educate students by wisely managing finite resources. The IT staff supporting this mission manages approximately 2,000 Windows desktops and close to 50 Windows servers across six school sites. Challenges The IT staff at Chichester School District manages over 2,000 machines throughout the 6-school network. While their fiber-based network provides fast and reliable connectivity, their previous patching vendor lacked the real-time visibility and control to ensure that the proper patches were installed correctly. In some cases, technicians would have to drive around to each school site to execute manual installations and updates—introducing unacceptable “exposure windows” to district computing resources and driving up labor costs. “My business manager loves me for saving money. BigFix has truly exceeded our expectations.” —Tim McGrath Senior Network Administrator • Optimizing IT investments within a tight budget results • Detailed, real-time information on remote computers means less onsite trouble-shooting time and effort • Simplified, efficient patch processes—99% first pass success rates across the district • Automated power management reduced annual energy costs by nearly 70% per PC Additionally, the IT team was also looking for ways to reduce energy usage and computing costs. While individual educator efforts to turn off classroom PCs at night and on weekends helped to slightly drive the energy usage down, a more centralized program was necessary to truly deliver consistent savings. Finally, the PC power management program needed to be integrated with the patch management process in order to ensure that machines could be automatically “woken up” remotely to apply patches overnight. Solution Overview Thanks to BigFix’s integrated patch and power management solution, Chichester School District is overcoming all of these challenges. BigFix Patch Management provides real-time visibility into which patches are required on which machines, and validates installation of these patches within minutes— obviating the need for technicians to drive around to school sites doing tedious, manual work. A recent Microsoft update was remotely distributed, installed and validated on 1,000 machines within an hour or so compared to their previous tool which used to take a week to perform and validate a similar update. bigfix simplifies it operations and reduces costs for chichester school district 1
  2. 2. CASE STUD Y “BigFix’s software distribution wizards make it so easy, even a monkey could do it.” —Tim McGrath Senior Network Administrator Additionally, the Chichester School District is able to implement energy conservation as well thanks to BigFix Power Management. Specifically, BigFix’s distributed “Wake-on-LAN” (WoL) functionality allows the IT team to distribute and install patches to those machines that are turned off at night. This allows for a reduction of energy resources while ensuring machines are securely patched—without impacting employee productivity. Results These technology and process improvements have resulted in significant benefits for the district. They can query their environment on virtually any configuration detail and receive up-to-the-minute answers. According to Tim McGrath, senior network administrator, “In terms of accurate asset inventory and configuration information, BigFix blows every other tool out of the water. I know immediately when a patch is installed or fails, so I can fix it in minutes. I never had that capability with the other tool we used.” With BigFix Patch Management, they’ve achieved a first pass success rate of 99%. This is a marked improvement over their previous patching tool, which would only reach 50% of their environment—requiring technicians to manually “touch” half of their environment to resolve missed installations and waste time tracking down root causes of the errors. BigFix Power Management has resulted in a 70% reduction in computing energy costs. Using a single policy-based management console allows IT staff to easily optimize power management profiles while ensuring machines are patched during off-hours and then brought back up in time for students, faculty, and administrative staff to get to work. Why BigFix? The ability to solve multiple problems with a single management framework was the ultimate reason that Chichester School District chose BigFix. Compared to a single tool that can only do patch management, Tim McGrath, Senior Network Administrator, describes BigFix as “an all-in-one solution”— where the problem-solving capabilities are truly unlimited. One key example is the district’s recent re-provisioning of software licenses based on the real-time usage statistics provided by BigFix’s asset inventory reporting. This level of visibility and control maximizes their existing software licensing investments and enables the IT staff to deliver the specific software to those faculty members and staff that need it, when they need it. Finally, speed and ease-of-use were additional factors that led the team to deploy BigFix. Tim McGrath’s hyperbolic endorsement says it all: “BigFix’s software distribution wizards make it so easy, even a monkey could do it.” ©2010 BigFix, an IBM Company. BigFix and the BigFix Logo are registered trademarks of BigFix, an IBM Company. Other trademarks, registered trademarks, and service marks are property of their respective owners. 20100824 4 2 bigfix simplifies it operations and reduces costs for chichester school district