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Even with the shift to the cloud, it’s still up to IT to make sure that Linux is being patched and updated on a regular basis — which is often a tedious job. Oracle announced a product this week to help: a self-patching Linux OS. That is a pretty attractive idea to patch-weary admins, and it should get you thinking about automation in general.

The consequences of failing to patch can be enormous, especially if it involves a security vulnerability, but keeping up with the myriad patches is a daunting task for IT. Oracle sees this as a win-win for everyone involved.

“Keeping systems patched and secure is one of the biggest ongoing challenges faced by IT today. Tasks can be tedious and error prone, and extremely difficult to manage in large-scale cloud environments. With Oracle Autonomous Linux, customers can rely on autonomous capabilities to help ensure their systems are secure and highly available to help prevent cyberattacks,” explained Oracle in a statement. 

As Larry Ellison put it in the company keynote this week, “It is the only autonomous OS in the world.” He added, “It provisions itself. It scales itself. It tunes itself. There’s no outage. There’s no downtime. There’s no delay. Once a vulnerability has been detected, we fix it while it’s running.” That’s a pretty tall order if they can pull it off. The proof in the pudding will be in the tasting, but as described I think most IT pros would be happy with it.

Not the first autonomous product

Last year, the company announced a similar kind of self-administering product, except for databases. The company believes it can move its on-prem database customers to the cloud with this product. For IT administrators used to dealing with heavy data-based maintenance, it’s an attractive approach.

The trouble for most MSPs working with SMBs is that Oracle tends to be out of reach. But, for IT admins inside larger organizations, if these products work as described, they could be a real boon. There could be other tools to help make your job easier, even if you’re not using Oracle.

As an example, Azure Update Manager offers Azure administrators a central place to automate OS patching both in the cloud and on premises, giving you a place to schedule patch updates, and then see what impact the patches had in a logging tool.

MSPs should be seeking automation and centralized management tools as much as they can. While your clients probably won’t need Oracle’s kind of fire power, it pays to look for the kinds of solutions that can simplify your life whenever possible and remove manual processes from your workflow.

Photo: Wright Studio / Shutterstock

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Ron Miller

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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