BigFix Review

Enables us to immediately patch all instances of endpoints that are vulnerable to antivirus and initiate scans


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use of this solution is for endpoint patching and to deply operating system level patches to seventy-five thousand plus Mac and Windows endpoints.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we had BigFix, we had problems with some malware. BigFix allows us to immediately patch all instances of endpoints that are vulnerable to antivirus and initiate scans. That's key.

It helps us to compress our patch cycles. With our patches, I can make sure 80% of the community has got their endpoint patching up to current standards, which is a current patch cycle within a week and a half.

Finally, it has helped us to avoid compliance issues, potentially by millions. We use it for device compliance. It's key that endpoints with a certain type of data, if they were to get lost and not encrypted, would need to be reported and those would need to be reported to a federal agency. This can mean associated fines in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. We have lost endpoints with data on there, but because we can confirm with BigFix that they were verifiably encrypted, we are protected and don't have to make those sorts of reports. It has saved us maybe millions in funds.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the ability to be able to check relevance. You can see what's applicable for what patches and deploy only the required patches to those individual endpoints.

The peer to peer file transfers feature is scary to me. I'm a security engineer, so thinking about sending updates or any sort of infrastructure level software communications coming from an endpoint that I didn't build or maybe don't trust is a bit scary.

What needs improvement?

I want to see a solution for being able to deploy automated software to a Mac running OS X 10.13, something that's going to deal with kernel exceptions and answering prompts for user permissions for data folders and whatnot. They need to really streamline and automate the Mac software deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is totally safe. We've been using it for years and years and it hasn't done us wrong.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is awesome. We've gone from twenty thousand machines to seventy thousand machines and there's plenty of room for lots more.

How are customer service and technical support?

Any time I've had to call or take it up with the support at BigFix, I've had nothing but the best support. The engineers get what it is we're trying to do. We've had an outstanding relationship with them, and some of them even know us on a first name basis. Very good support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward, but that was 2006, 2007. A lot has changed. It would be a little bit more intense right now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Altiris but BigFix came in because of its unique capabilities. It was Mac and PC compliant and worked with our endpoints. At the time, the price was right for us. There was local support and we had a very personal relationship with BigFix.

SCCM will do most of the Mac stuff I want but doesn't give you the highly targeted capabilities I have in deploying anything I want to endpoints in any configuration that I choose.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate BigFix a ten out of ten. It has saved me so much time in patching alone. The capabilities it gives me for very granular targeting of endpoints based on whatever criteria that I can come up with is great. It is very simply a tool that can do just about anything. There is always room for improvement. I want to see better capability in Mac software deployments. Apple changed some of their policies, so I'd like to see BigFix get up to speed with that. 

I would advise someone considering this solution to jump heavily into the community features. The BigFix forums are fantastic, we have an amazing user community that has been so helpful for me and it's a great learning resource for folks who are new to BigFix. It's a great community for people who are more experienced, people share that and help each other out. The community is fantastic.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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