The recent release of NightWatchman 7.1 includes two important new features: Power Optimization and Reboot Optimization. Today let’s focus on Reboot Optimization.
Reboots have been a serious pain for both users and administrators as long as we’ve had computers. We know they’re necessary, but are too often needed when we have important work to do. There’s always the risk that unsaved data could be lost and we’ll be inconvenienced. So, we should do what we can to optimize the experience.
NightWatchman has long helped with reboots by making them safe. To safely shut down computers for power savings, NightWatchman has coordinated with applications to save unsaved document changes on shut down. When the computer is started up again, the users can choose to use the unsaved changes or go back to the pre-changed documents. Using that feature, you’ve been able to confidently force reboots as needed.
The next step is to get data on all reboots, NightWatchman-related or not. Waiting for complaints or just hoping that users are not too badly affected is not a proper strategy. With NightWatchman 7.1 you now know that data. In particular:
- When are reboots happening? You expect a lot after Patch Tuesday when you enforce the reboots (or suggest them to users), but what about other times? Is your Patch Tuesday rebooting actually being completed as you believe?
- How long are those reboots taking? Waiting one minute for a machine to reboot is painful enough but do you have some that are taking three, four, maybe five minutes? Longer? Those users can’t be happy, and they’re much less likely to reboot when you need them to.
- You might not force reboots right after installing something that needs a reboots. These are “pending reboots.” For security updates, that means the vulnerability they’re fixing is still open. A short pending period can be reasonable, but is that what is actually occurring?
- And when are those pending reboots occurring? Patch Tuesday is to be expected, but are there other times when they occur?
With this data in hand you can work with related teams, such as your Security department, to assess the actual reboot activity. Are your security goals being met? Are users being overly inconvenienced?
In some cases, you might find that certain business units or regions are having bigger issues than others. Maybe they have an application or management tool that makes unnecessary reboots more likely. Do they have computers that need improvement? Is a computer startup script or other configuration issue causing them grief?
With a proper understanding of what’s happening you can maximize security for your organization while providing the best possible user experience. A win for all! For more information, please see our Reboot Optimization whitepaper.