With the continued and exciting growth of our division, Student Affairs Information Technology Services (SA-ITS) has introduced BigFix, just one of our new enterprise tools that will be assisting on our mission to provide individual level attention and support even on a large scale. SA-ITS is confident that this tool will reduce the need for service requests that involve minor plug in updates and allow for less downtime sifting through the dozens of updates that come out on a weekly basis from software vendors. BigFix will also allow for increased transparency to Student Employees that may use multiple workstations in multiple division departments being that all updates on all workstations will be standardized.
The BigFix platform allows SA-ITS to take a unified approach to managing hot fixes and updates to all of our Student Affairs workstations. In addition,these updates will run silently as a background process without prompting that anything is being installed. This avoids workflow interruption versus having to contact the helpdesk to remote in to install the update for you for. Users will only be aware of the BigFix application when prompted to save their work and restart the computer (more on that later).
Workstations with our BigFix agent will constantly be checking-in to the campus shared masthead server regardless of your location in the world. The agent queries relevant updates based for your individual computer and ignoring non-relevant updates that you already have or do not need. These updates can range from common plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player and Java Runtime Environment that we have all seen before; to more custom SA-ITS packages for example: a blocker that prevents the new version Internet Explorer from updating to Version 10 which is not yet compatible with many Duke University/Duke Medicine online resources. We can later apply a reverse action script once the platform is more stable.
If new updates have been applied to your workstation, you will notice the following prompt:
At this time you have the option to take the action (in this case the action is to restart your workstation) or you can delay the action for a specific amount of time of your choosing.
In the scenario that 24 hours past after the initial prompt without a action taken on your part, the request will lock to the top layer of your desktop until you take the action to ensure that workstations are receiving their updates in a timely manner.
SA-ITS is still adjusting the frequency of required restarts after updates have been installed (currently once per week). If you have any suggestions feel free to leave us a comment below!