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Beekeeper  (Formerly OPAS)

Tired of late-night patching?
Failing compliance and security audits?

With Beekeeper  you can fully automate patch management to minimize errors and reduce downtime to create a more secure and compliant environment, ultimately resulting in a better return on investment.

    * 100% compliant every month
    * Applications validated automatically after a server reboot
    * Monthly cost savings in OpEx budget
    * Work life balance for IT staff
    * Zero downtime of highly available applications during scheduled maintenance windows

With Beekeeper you can fully automate the validation checks of your application to eliminate human intervention and action. Integrate Beekeeper with System Center Configuration Manager and you can automate the end-to-end patching and application validation of your high availability applications and eliminate downtime.

Beekeeper is a SaaS offering that takes over where SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) or any other patching tool leaves off and guarantees 100% patching compliance.  Beekeeper is used to assist companies get past the 80-yard line where patching tools stop and accomplishes the hardest part – getting past the last 20 yards.  Beekeeper makes patching entirely automated;  reducing the attack surface and vulnerability to an attack on applications that are way behind on patching or have never been patched.  Download the trial and see for yourself.

Beekeeper v5.0

The Beekeeper solution has introduced additional functionality for additional Exchange DAG and Windows Server types, and addressed many other requests and bugs that have been reported.

Major Changes
Here is a partial list of major feature additions since Beekeeper version 4.5:

• Added support for patching Exchange 2016
• Added support for patching IP-less Exchange DAG environments
• Added support for patching Windows Server 2016
• Added support for patching Windows Server 2016 Failover Clusters
• Added support for Beekeeper components on Windows Server 2016
• Added advanced logging functionality
• Completely new scheduling engine
• Provided user ability to configure various engine timeout values
• Ability to export individual execution job/cluster logs
• Improved UI look and feel
• Overall improvements to Exchange DAG patching/health checks
• Overall performance improvements to engine/UI
• Added feature to continue/retry patching if update(s) fail to install

Minor Changes
• Added a validation tasks “Summary” page
• Add an ‘exclude’ switch when draining Exchange (internal) queues
• Improved general logging
• Implemented multiple tries to execute code rather than failing on the first attempt due to exception
• Improved the “Environmental Health” widget on dashboard to better reflect health
• Ability to manually refresh tables
• Resolved execution job wizard not always saving server selection(s) in some environments
• Last log line now viewable using CMTrace utility
• Resolved calendar view missing schedules
• Resolved SQL authentication is not used when attempting to install the API and set DB permissions
• All popups now viewable on lower resolution monitors
• Mitigated SCCM agent “Access is Denied” error after restarting and attempting to check for more updates
• Resolved unexpected RPC server unavailable errors during patching
• Resolved “Run Program” task errors when using double quotes in the parameter field
• Resolved Beekeeper hanging during installs when only one update is installed
• Resolved Exchange DAG patching to avoid capturing expected service terminations
• Fixed bug where Beekeeper would fail to install a previously failed update, regardless of outcome
• Added resource locks (in the UI) to prevent changes to servers/tasks while they’re in use


Origin Story

Beekeeper  was originally developed as an automation solution for an American regional grocery chain client that was using System Center Orchestrator and multiple, complex, dependent Runbooks.  Our client’s Exchange team was frustrated by the fact that they had to spend most of their Friday nights waiting for their Exchange servers to be patched only to have to test that the Exchange application started properly and was healthy after the Exchange servers were restarted after patches were applied.

Infront created the automation to test the health and functionality of the Exchange servers using Runbooks in Orchestrator. We worked with our client to identify what steps they took to validate that the Exchange application (used for email) was online and functioning properly. A number of the steps taken at the time were interactive, meaning that the IT admin logged into the Exchange server and looked for services to confirm that they were started, opened Outlook and sent an email and then confirmed receipt–A ton of manual steps.  Infront evaluated each of the manual steps and then looked at how we could automate this process with our programming skills. Part of this process was to look for any steps that had to be performed in a specific order.

The Infront team successfully completed this project, and our client had a functioning and powerful automated Exchange validation system that eliminated the need for the Exchange team to work weekends for patching.   Now our client’s Exchange team is only called or emailed if the validation routines fail.  This saved the American regional grocery chain a great deal of money on overtime and provided much better work life balance.   Our client is a family owned company that prides itself on family values, so this initiative aligned really nicely to support that.

When Infront started to experiment with the code developed outside of the client’s environment, we found that it didn’t scale well to 1000’s of servers. System Center Orchestrator was a performance bottleneck, so we rewrote the entire engine and eliminated our dependency on Orchestrator. We branded the new, rewritten solution, Beekeeper because whenever we enter a large datacenter, the servers sound like a humming beehive while the IT admins are the beekeepers. That server buzz sound is hard to miss.

Let us help you build your business case:

Current Operational Costs

How much time are your application owners spending validating the health of their applications after the servers they run on are rebooted?

Reduce Production Outages

Avoid a 60-minute production outage by reducing your risk with Beekeeper and save up to $474,000.*

*Based on Ponemon Institute 2013 Cost of Datacenter Downtime Study

Allocation of Resources

The cost of resource re-allocation could amount to $105,000 per source.* Beekeeper  eliminates patching downtime, redeploying your staff on projects that add value to the business.

*Based on industry averages

Average Cost of Breach

Save by protecting your system with Beekeeper , since a single data security breach can cost up to $5.85 million,* and the reputation of your brand.

*Based on Ponemon Institute 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study