[Mod Note: Issue Resolved] Inconsistent patching using Automox with UTC time - not good

I have an open, ongoing support case with Automox on this already, but would like to put it out there to the community in case others are seeing this behavior as well.

We are testing Automox and have about 240 Linux servers using Automox for patching. These systems are in various groups/policies that have different times. All groups and policies are exactly the same (all created by API’s) other than the name and they date/time - they all patch for Criticals and Highs when the OS is Linux.

Automox identifies that the systems have scheduled patches to apply, but doesn’t actually execute against the systems and ‘skips over’ groups of systems. On some, it does patch them just fine.

Our Automox policies are all set to use UTC time rather than the local system time because our maintenance windows are all defined using Eastern Time - and the servers reside in several different time zones.

Again, I do have an open support case with Automox, but this is a HUGE issue as the main functionality of the product isn’t working properly.

Anyone else have policies set to use UTC?
Anyone else have issues with Automox identifying that a system has “scheduled patches” but then skips over applying them?

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Are your systems still getting patched by Automox?

I’ve experienced this problem before a couple times however my polices are set to use local time.

I have servers in CST and EST. All servers are supposed to be patched at 2/3am. This past week I ended up getting the notification from a 3rd party app that my servers restarted at 7am or 8am EST. I find it hard to believe that it took 4-5 hours to patch.

I haven’t opened a ticket yet though.

My systems may or may not get patched… That’s what’s so frustrating. It appears to be completely random on whether Automox patches them. Sometimes, entire groups/policies get patched just fine and other times, entire groups/policies get skipped. Sometimes, it’s even a mix. Last night, I had one group/policy with two systems that were almost identical (same Linux version, same # of patches identified by Automox to patch) and Automox patched one of them and skipped over the second one despite appearing showing it was going to apply patches in a few minutes to both.

Hello MFKDGAF and jbh,
I first want to apologize for the inconvenience this bug has caused in relation to the UTC set times causing inconsistent policy runs. We do believe we have found the cause of this problem and are working on getting the fix in as quickly as possible. We will keep you updated here as well as through the tickets that were submitted. Again, I am sorry about not catching this earlier.

For the issue you are seeing MFKDGAF, please open a ticket. That should not happen unless there is a direct cause for it on either the device or policy. There have been no reported bugs that would cause this for a policy that is using the system time for the policies. We would want to look into this more in-depth and the questions/info we would need we don’t want to have up on our boards. Can you please open a ticket when you can and mention what policy and a few systems this happened on?

Thank you both. If you have any questions please let me know.

Wanted to update this and mention that Automox released a fix for this just over a week ago and we’ve had no issues since then, so it appears to be fixed! Props to Automox for responding quickly to identify and address it.

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I have also had issues in the past that if you move machines around to different groups or policies, that you may have to run a scan before the policies apply. Something to be mindful of in the future as well if you’re open to moving devices.

Note that I’d edit the subject to indicate that this issue has been fixed, but there doesn’t appear to be an ‘edit’ option on the post - or I just can’t find it.

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Thanks for letting us know! I’ve updated the post title to reflect the resolution.

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