The installation of patches from a software vendor onto an organization's computers. Patching thousands of PCs and servers is a major issue. A patch should be applied to test machines first before deployment, and the testing environments must represent all the users' PCs with their unique mix of installed software.
Patch management is an area of systems management that involves acquiring, testing, and installing multiple patches to an administered computer system. Patch management tasks include: maintaining current knowledge of available patches, deciding what patches are appropriate for particular systems, ensuring that patches are installed properly, testing systems after installation, and documenting all associated procedures, such as specific configurations required. A number of products are available to automate patch management tasks.