The university installed Computer Associates' (CA) eTrust Vulnerability Manager (VM), which helped the IT department to patch early enough that only four machines were vulnerable to the Sasser worm.
"We knew of four machines that hadn't been patched," said Jamie Slee, technical analyst for the The Open University. "We contacted three and one we pulled off the network. It did the job solidly."
The university approached CA because it wanted to reduce the manual effort in patching.
"Last year we were receiving bulletins from Microsoft and Sun," said Slee. "For us the whole thing came to a head when we inherrited 120 servers. We didn't know what was running and what vulnerabalities we had."
The Vulnerability Manager discovers network devices and has the ability to automatically patch them.
The IT department paid 'several thousand pounds' for the appliance.
Slee said there were small problems with implementation and deployment at first.