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About Software Updates Synchronization

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Software updates synchronization in Configuration Manager 2007 is the process of retrieving the software updates metadata that meets the configured criteria from Microsoft Update or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 running on the active software update point for the parent site. The highest site in the Configuration Manager hierarchy with an active software update point (most likely the central site, as it is referred to in this topic) synchronizes with Microsoft Update, which can be scheduled as part of the software update point properties or manually initiated by using the Run Synchronization action on the Update Repository console tree node. Child sites initiate synchronization only when a synchronization request is received from the parent site.

When synchronization is initiated on a configured schedule, a full synchronization is performed and all changes to the software updates metadata since the last scheduled synchronization are inserted into the site database. This includes new software updates metadata or metadata that has been modified, has been removed, or has expired. When synchronization is initiated manually, only new software updates metadata since the last synchronization is inserted into the site database. Therefore, the manual synchronization completes faster than the scheduled synchronization. Child sites always perform a full synchronization.

What Software Updates Are Available for Synchronization?

The active software update point on the central site synchronizes with Microsoft Update, and therefore, any software updates that are available on Microsoft Update can be synchronized in Configuration Manager 2007. You can also select the Local Publisher items on the Products tab of the Software Update Point Component properties to synchronize custom updates that were published using System Center Updates Publisher. For more information, see About System Center Updates Publisher.

Synchronization Process

The software update point site system role must be created on a computer running WSUS 3.0. After the active software update point has been installed, the WSUS Synchronization Manager component on the software update point initiates the synchronization process.

noteNote
When the active software update point is remote from the site server, the WSUS Administration console must be installed on the site server so that the WSUS API files are available.

When synchronization completes at each site, a site-wide machine policy is created that allows client computers to retrieve the location of the WSUS server and to initiate a scan for software updates compliance. For more information, see About Software Updates Compliance.

If synchronization fails at a site, there is a default retry interval of 60 minutes. The WSUS Synchronization Manager component will schedule the synchronization in 60 minutes from the failed process and then initiate the synchronization process again. WSUS Synchronization Manager will create status message 6703 when synchronization fails. For more information about synchronization issues, see Troubleshooting Software Updates Synchronization Failures.

Synchronization on the Central Site

When synchronization is initiated at the central site, WSUS Synchronization Manager requests that Update Services (a component of WSUS) running on the active software update point for the site initiates a manual synchronization. The software updates metadata is then synchronized from Microsoft Update, and any changes are inserted or updated in the WSUS database. When WSUS completes synchronization, WSUS Synchronization Manager synchronizes the software updates metadata from the WSUS database to the Configuration Manager database. Metadata that changed since the last synchronization is inserted or updated in the site server database, and then the software updates metadata is replicated to child sites using the standard site-to-site replication process. When synchronization completes, the WSUS Synchronization Manager component, SMS_WSUS_SYNC_MANAGER, creates status message 6702.

When an active Internet-based software update point is configured on the central site, the same synchronization process is followed as described above, except that the active Internet-based WSUS server synchronizes with the active software update point configured for the site, not Microsoft Update, and the site server database is not synchronized as part of the process.

Synchronization on Child Sites

As software updates synchronization runs on the central site, the software updates metadata is replicated down the Configuration Manager hierarchy. When the child site receives the software updates metadata, it is inserted into the site database.

When synchronization completes on the parent primary site, a synchronization request is then sent to the child site. WSUS Synchronization Manager on the child site receives the request, and it requests that Update Services, running on the active software update point for the site, initiate a manual synchronization. The software updates metadata is then synchronized from WSUS running on the active software update point for the parent site, and any changes are inserted or updated in the WSUS database. When there is an Internet-based software update point, the synchronization process is initiated for WSUS on that site system.

After synchronization completes successfully on the site, a synchronization request is sent to child sites and the process continues throughout the hierarchy.

Synchronization for Internet-Based Software Update Points

When synchronization completes for the active software update point at a site, synchronization is initiated for the active Internet-based software update point for the site, if configured. This process is much like the synchronization process on child sites, except that WSUS running on the active Internet-based software update point synchronizes with WSUS running on the active software update point for the same site.

When the synchronization source configured for the Internet-based software update point is not configured to synchronize with an upstream update server, the export and import functions of the WSUSutil tool can be used to synchronize software updates metadata from an active software update point for the site. For more information, see How to Synchronize Updates Using Export and Import.

Synchronizing Software Updates for SMS 2003 Clients

Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 clients use the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Update to scan for the software updates that are defined in the Microsoft Update catalog. The Microsoft Update catalog must be synchronized for the client computers to scan for the most recent software updates. By default, the catalog is synchronized every seven days using the Microsoft Update Tool Sync advertisement on the site where the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates is installed, most likely the central site. For more information, see About the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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