Shavlik Buys Gibraltar In Patch Management Play

Security ISV Shavlik Technologies this week acquired Gibraltar Software to expand its burgeoning patch management business to non-Windows platforms.

December 18, 2003

3 Min Read
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As part of an end-of-year shopping spree in the software sector, security ISV Shavlik Technologies this week acquired Gibraltar Software to expand its burgeoning patch management business to non-Windows platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shavlik is a leading patch management supplier that develops the popular HFNetChkPro product and Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer.

By acquiring Gibraltar this week, Shavlik, St Paul, Minn., will be able to offer existing and new customers support for other platforms, including Solaris and Red Hat Linux.

Support for Microsoft is also currently provided in Gibraltar's solutions. Support for IBM AIX and HP UX support is planned for the future. Gibraltar's agent-based technology will also be exploited by Shavlik to enhance its Windows-based platform, said executives at the Windows security ISV.

As Microsoft pitches its recently released Systems Management Server 3.0 software deployment platform and gets ready to release Software Update Server 2.0 into beta next quarter, Shavlik and other ISVs, including LANDesk, Computer Associates International, Hewlett-Packard, Ecora and Red Hat, are trying to distinguish their patch management solutions with cross-platform support.One security consultant said the move will help Shavlik expand its business and move higher into the enterprise.

"While the Shavlik stand-alone solution provides tremendous value for those seeking a Microsoft-only solution, most who purchase the embedded content are seeking cross-platform patch capabilities. For these customers, the acquisition of Gibraltar by Shavlik will provide significant benefit," said Adam Lipson, president and CEO of Network & Security Technologies, a consulting firm in Pearl River, N.Y. "The broadening of Shavlik's ability to address multiple platforms will improve their ability to play in the large enterprise market."

Shavlik's founder and CEO said the company will deliver its new cross-platform solutions to the channel in various stages.

"The first Shavlik release of the [Gibraltar] technology will focus on our OEM partners so we can provide them with the latest in multiplatform patch management for use in their products. As such, we are enabling our partners to get multiplatform patch management to their channel very quickly," said Mark Shavlik, president and CEO of Shavlik Technologies. "Soon after, Shavlik will have a reseller version available for our direct channel."

One competitor in the patch management space, CA, said cross-platform support is important because of mixed corporate environments and the fast growth of Linux on the server.CA's Software Delivery 4.0 product, for instance, supports patch management for Windows, Unix, Linux platforms and on servers, desktops and handhelds such as Palm.

Still, Allan Andersen, director of Unicenter Product Management at CA, said the most important and least addressed aspect of patch management is a services issue: getting customers to set up and enforce software update policies. "We're trying to get customers to set up policies so the system reinforces these things by themselves so when new patches come out, they're automatically updated," Andersen said. "Pushing out patches is not big thing. Most companies have tools to deploy patches or will be buying shortly, but they need to understand that they have to look at their own organization and processes. There's a lot of logic that goes along with getting patches registered and packaged, and in complex environments, it gets complicated because you've got all sort of business applications running."

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