Patching schedules for servers - specific reboot times
We're using K1000 patching relatively successfully for workstations, but we have been struggling to get it working for our estate of approx. 350 servers. The main issue is around scheduling restarts - we're a healthcare organisation running 24x7, and many of our systems have very narrow downtime windows. For example we may want to restart a specific server between 2am and 2.30am, but with a deploy + restart schedule, we have no control over how long the deployment takes, so can't control when the restart occurs with sufficient precision.
The ideal situation would be to install all of the updates ahead of time with restart suppressed, and then trigger the restart during the allotted time window. However this is proving difficult, and we're currently looking at scripting solutions outside of KACE to handle the restarts. Or else ditching KACE for servers and trying WSUS or another 3rd party product.
I'm wondering if there are any other organisations out there with similar requirements, and if so how you handle it?
Things we have experimented with so far:
- A deploy run with restart suppressed earlier in the day, following by a second deploy run with forced restart during the downtime window. The thinking was that the second deploy would seeing nothing further to do except the restart, and complete quickly. This doesn't seem to work, as the second deploy schedule either does nothing, or if it does run it still does a full pass (we can see the LM.detection_64.exe process running) so the timing is imprecise.
- A deploy run with restart suppressed earlier in the day, following by a kscript to restart during the downtime window. This fails because the K1000 is in its backup phase overnight, so the script seems to be skipped. Also we're having difficulties getting scripts that perform a restart to upload their logs to the K1000. I'm loathe to try it with offline scripts as that seems risky for servers.
Any suggestions please? If you have narrow downtime windows how do you handle it? 350 servers is too many for our small team to manage the restarts manually.