BigFix Review

The ability to customize the content to do what we need it to do is very powerful

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to import management across all of our stores, desktops and server infrastructures.

How has it helped my organization?

Having higher visibility on patching level, on patching successful, and non-successful has been a way that BigFix has improved my organization. Also, the ability to customize the content to do what we need it to do is very powerful and very flexible for us. Finally, in the area of custom interfaces, like REST API, really gives us the ability to provide for our external customers.

It has immensely helped to reduce network traffic when it comes to downloading patches. Downloading once and distributing to all endpoints applicable greatly reduces bandwidth.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to make the platform do almost anything you want it to do. Out-of-the-box features are very powerful, but with creativity you can make the platform do almost anything you want it to do.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more flexibility on how queries are run through the API. We've got some of our desktop customers that use the API to query a lot, and that actually impacts our server automation plan sometimes. On a day when they might be heavily querying and it hits a web report server, that messes with our server automation plans and the reporting for it. The server automation should be hitting the actual BigFix database versus the web reports.

I would also like to see improvement on configuring where the logs go. It's been annoying for both of our desktop teams. Even on the Linux side, we should be able to set the property to have the logs go to a different location. It's annoying because sometimes if you need to clear out the best data you end up losing all the logs. You can try to save it off but it's an extra step. If you try to move those logs ahead of time with the client property it shouldn't be an issue, install the BigFix agent into a nonstandard location. It's important for some of our UNIX endpoints who don't give enough space. It should be supported from the install, out of the box.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It'll scale almost as big as you need it. You just throw hardware at it.

How are customer service and technical support?

In regards to technical support, level 2 is very helpful, but when things need to get more visibility you can get their core developers to help which is really helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. There are a lot of steps to set it up, at least on the Linux side.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

License management isn't quite as easy as it should be to deal with the licensing. You need to take the server down to import the new licenses which I find to be annoying. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of ten. It's incredibly flexible. I've managed and worked with several endpoint management solutions like ITMS, or ZENworks. I haven't worked with SCCM, but it's like if SCCM was a Ferrari, BixFix is an incredibly tweak-able, tunable, indie car. It can do a lot of cool stuff but you have to tweak it, and you have to know how to use it. 

I would advise someone considering this solution to throw out all of your expectation on how you think things need to work. Throw out how you did things before. Don't try to shoehorn what you did before into a product you might move to because it's probably going to do things better than you did before. 

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