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How do I get started with Patch Manager?

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Patch Manager Getting Started Home

Last Updated: March 9, 2017

SolarWinds® Patch Manager is a centralized patch management solution that manages and publishes software updates (or patches) in a corporate enterprise.

The application collects and displays system information from Microsoft® Windows®-based servers and workstations in the SolarWinds Patch Manager Admin Console. The system administrator can view the information, decide which systems require a patch, and then approve and publish the patch to the targeted systems. This process ensures that all systems are running the latest patches.

All system information is stored in a Microsoft SQL Server® database. System administrators can generate reports for each managed system to comply with patch compliance audits.

SolarWinds Patch Manager distributes Windows and third-party patches by integrating with one of the following products: 

  • Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS): a feature that you enable in the Windows Server® operating system
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM): a patch management product sold by Microsoft

Use this guide to configure SolarWinds Patch Manager on a Windows server running WSUS. See the SolarWinds Patch Manager Administrator Guide for details about configuring SolarWinds Patch Manager on a server running SCCM.

This guide assumes that you have:

  • Knowledge of Microsoft enterprise products and technologies, including:
    • Active Directory®
    • Group Policy
    • Package Management
    • SQL Server
    • Windows Server operating system
    • WMI
    • WSUS
  • A Domain Administrator account
  • A Local Administrator account on the SolarWinds Patch Manager server
  • An account with System Administrator (SA) rights on a remote SQL Server database server (for remote SQL Server database installations running SQL Server Standard or Enterprise Edition)

Existing customers: Access your licensed software from the SolarWinds Customer Portal. If you need implementation help, submit a ticket to Technical Support.

Evaluators: Download a free 30-day evaluation. The evaluation version is a full version of the product, functional for 30 days. If you evaluate SolarWinds Patch Manager on a Windows Server operating system, you can easily convert your evaluation license to a production license by obtaining and applying a license key. If you need assistance with your evaluation, contact Customer Sales.

Read the SolarWinds Customer Support Information article to learn how to properly open a support case and get your case the right level of visibility.

File:Success_Center/Reusable_content_-_InfoDev/SPM/Patch_Manager_Getting_Started_Guide/0010-How_do_I_get_started_with_Patch_Manager/icon_video.png Check out this video on using SolarWinds Patch Manager.

To get started with SolarWindsPatch Manager, complete the following checklist. When you are finished, SolarWindsPatch Manager is ready to publish patches to your managed systems and generate reports for your compliance audits.

See Best Practices for using SolarWinds Patch Manager and Troubleshoot SolarWinds Patch Manager for additional information about setting up your deployment.


Install SolarWinds Patch Manager on a dedicated server.

The SolarWinds Patch Manager Installation Guide provides system requirements and instructions for downloading and installing the product.


Configure the environment.

  1. Verify that WSUS is installed on your Windows Server operating system, and then add WSUS to SolarWinds Patch Manager.

    If WSUS is installed on a separate server running a different Windows Server operating system version, provision an Automation Server role and create Automation Server routing rules to prevent API Mismatch errors with the SolarWinds Patch Manager server.

  2. Populate the default credential ring to map the user credentials to the managed systems.
  3. Generate a software publishing certificate to enable the WSUS server to publish third-party updates and custom packages to your managed systems.
  4. (Optional) If your organization uses a group policy to manage computer systems, configure the group policy to enable third-party updates. When you are finished, refresh the group policy on the managed systems so they have the updated group policy.
  5. (Optional) If you are administering SolarWinds Patch Manager on the Orion Platform, ensure that SolarWinds Patch Manager Orion web interface is installed on the Orion Platform server. See the SolarWinds Patch Manager Installation Guide for details.
  6. (Optional) Install agents for systems that are protected by a firewall or cannot be managed in a corporate network using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). See the SolarWinds Patch Manager Administrator Guide for details about deploying an agent on a managed system.


Select and download the software updates.

  1. Run the SolarWinds Patch Manager Update Configuration wizard to synchronize the application with the SolarWinds Third Party Updates Pack website. Select the third-party updates from the vendor catalogs and complete the wizard.
  2. Run the Synchronize Server task on the WSUS Server to synchronize the server with the Microsoft Updates website. This task retrieves the latest Microsoft operating system updates, and stores the updates on the WSUS server.


Generate an inventory.

  1. Generate a WSUS server inventory to determine the update status of each managed system and populate the WSUS reports.
  2. Generate an inventory of the systems you want to manage. The inventory populates the SolarWinds Orion Web Console and the SolarWinds Patch Manager reports.


Approve and publish the updates.

  1. Download the third-party update packages to the WSUS server.
  2. Approve the updates you want to publish.
  3. Publish the updates to the managed systems.
  4. Schedule the published updates to occur for at least two weeks so employees who are traveling or on vacation receive the updates when they log in to the corporate network.
  5. Check the task history to verify that the update task completed on all targeted systems.


Schedule the Microsoft and third-party software updates.

Create a task that automatically downloads and installs all needed and approved security and critical updates over a specific time frame—for example, once a day or once a week.


Generate reports.

Generate SolarWinds Patch Manager and WSUS inventory reports for your patch compliance audits.

Inventory your WSUS server and managed systems before you generate a report.

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