• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

Gravity Storm’s SPM 2000

Mar 20, 20032 mins

* The Reviewmeister looks at patch management tool SPM 2000 from Gravity Storm

If you looking for another patch management tool of the agentless variety, check out Gravity Storm’s SPM 2000.

With SPM 2000, administrators can scan by domain or individual system. They also can create Virtual Custom Networks, which is a fancy way of describing the ability to create your own groupings.

SPM 2000 does provide some system information, such as available disk space, running processes and diagnostics. You also can view the event log, send alert messages or remove network shares from any remote machine through the SPM 2000 GUI.

Scans, called NetQueries in SPM 2000, can run immediately or be scheduled periodically. Scan results can be logged to a CSV file for further analysis.

For deployment, patches must first be downloaded into the download directory, which can be located on any network-attached storage device the administrator selects. This can occur when patches are deployed or at an earlier time, but this process cannot be automated. Gravity Storm maintains its own inventory of hot-fixes that Microsoft released on its own site. To update the patch information in SPM 2000, Gravity Storm implemented a LiveUpdate feature. This requests the latest database from Gravity Storm and immediately imports the information into SPM 2000, making the latest patch information available to subsequent NetQueries. LiveUpdate also can be scheduled to run unattended.

Once the service pack or hot-fix has been downloaded, the patch can be deployed. A hot-fix can be deployed to multiple machines, and multiple hot-fixes can be deployed to a single machine. By default, machines are rebooted after installation but an administrator can override this function. Deployments can occur immediately or be scheduled.

Administrators also can deploy user-defined hot-fixes, which can be any Microsoft-issued patch along with the proper command-line switches and parameters.

As with other products, the time it takes to deploy a patch depends on the amount of network traffic available to transfer the patch. PatchLink compresses the patch for transfer, which speeds up the process a bit.

One nice feature is that administrators can create profiles comprising a selection of hot-fixes and service packs. Systems can be compared against these defined profiles to check for compliance. However, these profiles must be updated manually to reflect any new hot-fix releases. For the full report, go to