The following terms provide context for SolarWinds product architecture and components.
Agent: a software component installed on a managed system that provides a communications link to SolarWinds Patch Manager when the system cannot be managed with WMI. Agents are usually installed on systems that cannot access SolarWinds Patch Manager from the physical location of the corporate network—for example, systems that access the network using an Internet connection.
Application Program Interface (API): specifies how software programs communicate with each other. SolarWinds Patch Manager uses the WSUS API to communicate with the WSUS server.
Managed systems: client systems and servers in an enterprise that are configured to receive Microsoft® Windows® and third-party updates from the WSUS server.
Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS): a Microsoft web server that integrates with SolarWinds Patch Manager and the Orion® Platform.
Orion Installer: an all-in-one application for installing Orion Platform products. You can use this installer to install the Patch Manager Integration Module on an Orion server. See the Orion Platform Products Installation and Upgrade Guide for details.
Orion Platform: the common back-end platform used by the SolarWinds Orion suite of products, including SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Server & Application Monitor (SAM), Network Configuration Monitor (NCM), Network Traffic Analyzer (NTA), and more. The Orion Platform provides the backbone for navigation, settings, and common features like alerts and reports. It also provides a consistent look-and-feel across products, giving you a “single pane of glass” for your Orion monitoring tools.
Patch Manager Administrator Console: a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0-based snap-in that connects to the Primary Application Server. You can install the administration console directly on the SolarWinds Patch Manager server or on one or more remote administration workstations.
Orion Web Console: the web interface you see when you log in to Orion that is used to view, configure, and manage all of your monitored objects.
Patch Manager Web Console: a read-only console that displays graphics and detailed information about your managed systems. The Patch Manager Summary view may also be referred to as the Patch Manager Web Console.
Primary Application Server: a SolarWinds Patch Manager server role that provides the default management group, certificate configuration authority, and communications hub for your Patch Manager deployment. This server role is installed on a host system with the Patch Manager Administration Console. See the Patch Manager Getting Started Guide for information about adding additional server roles to your deployment.
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI): specifies how software components communicate with each other.
WMI Providers: an optional feature that enables you to interface with both WSUS and managed clients in the Patch Manager Administrator Console. With WMI Providers enabled in Patch Manager System Configuration, you can perform several functions not included with WSUS, such as deploying updates on demand, creating a managed systems inventory, and performing configuration management tasks, such as shutdown or reboot.
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS): an optional component you install in supported Windows Server operating systems to distribute and manage updates and hotfixes released by Microsoft in a corporate enterprise. WSUS replaces Windows Update and allows system administrators to distribute Windows updates and hotfixes released by Microsoft to systems in a corporate environment. SolarWinds Patch Manager integrates with WSUS to distribute Windows updates, third-party updates, and custom packages to managed systems in your deployment.