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Home > Success Center > Patch Manager > Patch Manager 2.1.5 Administrator Guide > Introduction


Created by Caroline Juszczak, last modified by Steve.Hawkins on Oct 18, 2017

Views: 314 Votes: 0 Revisions: 15

SolarWinds Patch Manager is a Microsoft® Management Console (MMC) that adds additional functionality to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). When installed on a WSUS or SCCM server, you can update Windows servers and workstations in your corporate network with Microsoft and third-party software updates.


The following diagram illustrates a typical Patch Manager installation. In this installation:

  • Install Patch Manager on a dedicated server (known as the Primary Application Server). 
  • Enable Windows Server Update Services on the dedicated server.
  • Verify that no additional SolarWinds Orion Platform products or third-party applications are installed on the server.


In SCCM environments, the WSUS Server corresponds to the SCCM software update point (SUP).

Patch Manager runs the EminentWare Data Grid Server Service. This service starts automatically at system startup and manages all aspects of the Patch Manager server except the Microsoft SQL Server® database resources.

See Advanced Deployment Scenarios for additional information about alternative deployment scenarios.


Patch Manager uses the following components and devices in a deployment:

  • Server roles
  • SQL Server database
  • Administrator console
  • Web Console
  • Managed computers
  • Patch Manager agents

Server roles

During a first-time installation, select the Primary Application Server. When selected, the installer creates the primary configuration management database, installs the Patch Manager Administrator Console, and enables this server as the Certificate Authority (CA) for all certificates used to register and encrypt Patch Manager communications. All Patch Manager operations are controlled from this server.

The Patch Manager installer includes an Express option that allows you to install additional server roles to enhance your deployment. SolarWinds recommends installing these server roles on separate, dedicated servers to maximize application performance. 

Server role Description
Primary Application server

Contains the primary configuration management database and serves as the Certificate Authority for all certificates used to register and encrypt Patch Manager communications. All Patch Manager operations are controlled from this server.

When you install Patch Manager for the first time, the host server is called the Primary Application Server (PAS).

Application server Interfaces with the Patch Manager Admin Console or integrated SCCM administration consoles. This server role manages all communications between the console and the Patch Manager deployment.
Management server Maintains all inventory and discovery data for specific systems in the Patch Manager environment. This role includes a defined collection of managed entities specified by their corresponding domain, workgroup, or WSUS server. 
Automation server Manages the local Patch Manager processes on each Patch Manager server. This role performs the inventory and configuration management tasks, and interfaces with the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) providers to collect data and supervise remote management functions.

SQL Server database

Patch Manager supports the following Microsoft SQL Server database software:

  • SQL Server Express
  • SQL Server Standard or Enterprise Edition

If you select SQL Server Express during the installation, Patch Manager installs SQL Server Express on the PAS with no user intervention. 

If you select SQL Server Standard or Enterprise Edition, install the software on a separate server and enter the database instance path in the Patch Manager Administrator Console. SolarWinds recommends this option to prevent a single point of failure and maximize database performance.

SQL Server Express has a 10 GB storage limit. If you exceed this limit, you must migrate your database to a remote server running SQL Server Standard or Enterprise Edition.

Administrator Console

The Administrator Console is an MMC 3.0-based snap-in that connects to the Patch Manager PAS. Use the Administrator Console to publish and manage patches, generate reports, and execute configuration management tasks.  Install the Administrator Console on the PAS or a remote workstation.

In SCCM environments, an additional Administrator Console integrates with the SCCM console.

Web Console

The Patch Manager Web Console is a read-only user interface that displays detailed information from a Patch Manager Application server. Install the Web Console on any Windows server that can access the server.

Managed Computers

Managed computers include WSUS servers, SCCM servers, and managed clients in your corporate enterprise. For optimal inventory and reporting functionality, deploy the Patch Manager Windows Management Interface (WMI) providers to all managed clients. See Manage Client WMI connectivity for details.  

Agents (Optional)

Patch Manager Agents provide a communications link between the managed computer and the PAS. The agents poll the server at set intervals using asynchronous remote procedure calls. Use Patch Manager agents when your managed computers are:

  • Disconnected from the corporate network 
  • Cannot be managed with WMI
  • Protected by stringent firewall rules or virtual private networks
Last modified
12:47, 18 Oct 2017