IBM 8.2 Support Ends April 2016 -Top Features of 9.x

By Dan Powers

IBM Big Fix 8.2 end of life takes place this April 2016. With this announcement, if you are still running on the BigFix platform version 8.2 or earlier, your IBM support for this investment will end at that time. Along with the end of support (EOS), it should be noted that the latest applications offerings under the BigFix umbrella are not compatible with 8.x and older versions, including the relay and agents. If you wish to take advantage of the new features in the modules such as Inventory, Compliance (PCI-DSS add-on), Core Protection, and basic improvements of the platform, we recommend an upgrade to the latest release.

I’ve compiled a list of the key features included in the newer releases of 9.x:

  • 64-bit server components: Windows Server Components (Server, Console, Web Reports, FillDB, and BESAdmin) are now 64-bit Windows applications. This improves performance for large IEM deployments.
  • Expanded OS support: Debian 6, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Windows Server 2012, RHEL 7
  • Enhanced Security: Disable SHA-1 signatures in favor of SHA-256, Support for TLS 1.2 and root certificate key strength increased from 1024 to 4096 bits
  • Common Criteria security certification: Increased server audit logging and configurable attributes for Console and Web reports
  • New agent inspectors: SSID for WiFi inspector, SQLite inspectors, JSON inspectors, SHA-2 inspectors, TCP/UDP port inspectors (supported on Windows 7+, Windows Server 2008+), Inspectors for tracking long fixlet evaluation times, SHA-2 inspectors
  • Granularity of Access Control: This allows NMO users to manage actions
  • Improved relay resiliency: Relay recoverability from errors and data corruption has been added
  • Increased server audit logging and configurable attributes for Console and Web reports via Common Criteria security certification
  • Enhanced visibility via new agent inspectors: SSID for WiFi inspector, SQLite inspectors, JSON inspectors, SHA-2 inspectors, TCP/UDP port inspectors (supported on Windows 7+, Windows Server 2008+), Inspectors for tracking long Fixlet evaluation times, SHA-2 inspectors
  • More “out of the box” reports in Web Reports
  • Support for 2 factor authentication (CAC/PIV Support)
  • Web Based user interface (WebUI) that includes a greatly simplified interface for deployment specialists to view devices and deploy patches, software, and custom content
  • Email notification service either upon completion of deployment or when a certain number of targets fail

The upgrade to the latest release is free from IBM for existing customers. Champion Solutions Groups helps guide and assist organizations to achieve a smooth upgrade with minimal downtime (if any), while performing a basic health check on your existing environment. Working with Champion, not only will you have peace of mind in that your current investment is running the most recent versions of the platform, but Champion will also deliver a roadmap of features in the advanced versions that you may not even be aware of. Taking advantage of these features is up to you, but you can’t make that decision unless you know they exist!

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