I am in the process of taking over the management of the schools systems Computer network. This will be my first attempt to manage a Novell system. I have been playing around with how Patch Management seems to work and am a little lost in what I should be doing with the patches. I am lucky enough to have another schools SysAdmin willing to help but can't seem to get several components of Patch Management working like I expected.

A little background on what the school is demanding:
1. Rebooting of the laptops during the school day should only be done in extreme cases.
2. Little to no pop-ups for the students and most teachers don't want this as well.
3. Speed up the laptops we have deployed. (Most end users are complaining of slow login and buggy use after they are logged in)

Here is what I am confused on:
For option 1. I have been setting the Auto-Reboot on some of the patches to be 10 hours with snooze allowed. The pop-up to reboot seems to be annoying several teachers when I do this since they constantly stay up or flash up during class lectures. So item 1 seems to be causing problems with item 2.

I can't see to find any area where Patch Management is causing any long term slowness other then when the Patch Scan process is running which doesn't seem to be very long. So I am looking in other areas for that. I will try to post in the other areas of the forum with those questions.

Beyond the two end user issues that I have been directed to resolve, I am also seeing most of the patches fail to install for some reason. I try to bundle multiple patches together to deploy out. I had one that 55 steps it showed, although that was not the number of patches. When it got to step 11 it showed failed and stopped running. In looking at the logs I quickly get lost and am unsure what to look for why the failure occurred. Not sure if I missed something in the documentation or if this is more of an art form I have yet to develop.

Is there a method that I should be using to deploy patches? Instead of selecting multiple patches for deployment do them in single sets? The SysAdmin that has been helping me stopped by a week ago and helped me update the server to 11.3. He didn't have any advise on how to use the patch policy section since he is still working on the same thing. He also didn't have any advice on how to deploy patches.

Is there a section of the documentation I should be reviewing that will help with how to best deploy patches that will not fail repeatedly? Any other advice on how to get this working? I have started to resort to running Windows Updates manually when I work on the computers to keep them updated. Even when Windows Updates shows no further patches on a device the Patch tab for that computer still can show many more patches needed.

Sorry for the long string of questions. The school district doesn't have the funds to allow me to purchase Support through Novell so I am stuck getting this working on my own. Any help or advice with this would be greatly appreciated.