Attenda is one of the UK’s leading managed services and cloud platform providers, helping UK midmarket organisations to manage and safeguard the availability of their critical business applications. The company has 270-plus employees, who service clients from its head office in Staines and a regional office in Caerphilly, Wales. Attenda operates three datacentres in the UK; including one in Farnborough in partnership with its sister company, Datum Datacentres, which specialises in co-location services.
Since its inception in 1997, Attenda has enjoyed consistent year-on-year growth of 15 percent; and it continues to focus on achieving organic growth by providing exceptional services to its expanding client base.
Protecting clients’ IT environments
Attenda is responsible for managing a diverse range of business critical IT environments on behalf of its clients, including both physical and virtual devices from a variety of vendors. Although each of these clients has a unique set of business requirements and IT systems under management, Attenda must be able to guarantee the same consistent high service levels. Effective patch management processes are crucial to protecting client servers from existing vulnerabilities and emerging threats.
“If client environments are not updated in a timely manner, with the latest approved patches, business continuity could be at risk,” says Richard Booth, Technical Operations Manager at Attenda. “As many of our clients are Internet-based companies, this could quickly impact their profitability — and both of our reputations.”
He adds, “Best-practice patch management is also important for monitoring the software running on client devices and meeting our collective ISO standards certifications for security, quality, IT service management, and business continuity.”
Agent-free patch management
Attenda has been using Shavlik® Protect to safeguard its own and clients’ devices since 2007. “We’ve kept abreast of the patch management tools available on the market, and the Shavlik solution continues to offer the best functionality and value,” comments Booth.
Shavlik reseller Satisnet manages the Attenda account. Nicola Garrett, Customer Account Manager at Satisnet comments: “The Shavlik solution is well suited to Attenda’s operational process needs. Organisations often come to us looking for a solution that can help them to protect client devices from potential vulnerabilities. By ensuring that all software is fully operational, Attenda can differentiate its service offering, whilst providing clients with enhanced security for their servers.”
Unlike other solutions, Shavlik Protect provides Attenda with the flexibility to manage patches with or without agents. This agent-free capability is an important factor, as some clients prefer not to have agents installed on their servers. It also means that the device CPU is not being utilised, so there is no impact on server performance.
The Shavlik solution allows Attenda to see at a glance the different patches that have been released by vendors and evaluate, test, and deploy them to clients’ environments in a controlled manner.
Shavlik Protect is integrated with Attenda’s proprietary monitoring and management platform, Attenda M.O. thus preventing unnecessary alerts being raised during the patching process. As well as safeguarding the security of existing servers, the solution helps to ensure that new servers are always provisioned with the latest patches.
Driving greater efficiency with automation
Some 30 to 40 Attenda employees use Shavlik Protect on a regular basis; the solution is highly intuitive, so training is quick and easy to deliver. These users include the administration team, who schedule patching during the day, leaving night shift engineers able to focus on more technical activities.
“We’ve saved 40 engineer hours a month by automating patch management,” affirms Booth.
“Through using the solution we have been able to make better use of our resources, provide clients with accurate security inventories; and reduce the risk of human error.” Booth concludes: “Using Shavlik Protect makes us more efficient, which means we can offer more value, whilst providing our clients’ with peace of mind about the security of their servers and cloud services provision.”
Shavlik is a pioneer in agentless patch management and a leader in innovative systems security and management solutions. Since 1993, Shavlik has been at the forefront of patch management, first by providing the only third-party patch management to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager customers and later asserting industry leadership in the patching of virtual machines. Its products and solutions include Shavlik Protect, Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center, and Management Intelligence. Shavlik’s “Just Add Water and Stir” approach allows customers to get up and running in as little as 30 minutes.
Visit www.shavlik.com for more information.