New: May 5, 2020

Patch Management Engine

With SolarWinds N-central 12.2 a new patch engine was deployed that can be independently updated from the SolarWinds N-central release cycle. The patch management engine communicates the SolarWinds N-central server through the agent.

As SolarWinds MSP continues to develop and refine the patch management engine, it will be deployed to ensure the most up-to-date patch technology is available.

The engine consists of three main components:

  • SolarWinds MSP RPC Server - a windows service SolarWinds.MSP.RpcServerService) that Patch Management Engine communicates with RMM / N-central Agent. This service accepts RPC calls, sends them to Patch Management Engine and then converts the result to RPC response which is sent back to the caller.
  • Patch Management Engine - contains all the patch management logic. It uses the RPC Server to communicate with the Cache Service to download patch files from the internet.
  • Cache Service - a windows service (SolarWinds.MSP.CacheService) that serves as a proxy between the Patch Management Engine and the internet. Whenever Patch Management Engine needs to download a file from the Internet, it asks Cache Service for the file. For information on patch cache see the Patch Cache help topic.

Installing the Patch engine

The Patch Management Engine is not installed with the agent. It's installed by the agent when it needs it. the Patch Management Engine is installed shortly after the SolarWinds N-central agent starts and remains installed even when the Patch Management feature is disabled.

The engine is also used for asset scanning which is always active.

All three components are installed by a single installation package starts the services at the very end of the installation.

Patch engine upgrades

Patch engine upgrades occur at the start of every communication between SolarWinds N-central and the patch engine. This communication can occur for various reasons, including:

  • asset scan begins,
  • patch detection begins,
  • patch remediation begins,
  • probe settings are changed,
  • a change in a patch profile,
  • changes to the agent proxy settings, and
  • a change to the SIS server URL.