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Testing the Updates

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server Update Services

Until you install an update, you cannot be certain about the impact it will have on other programs running on your systems. By installing an update in a test environment, you can assess its impact before you decide whether or not to deploy it to your production systems. This approach can prevent unplanned downtime and lost productivity.

WSUS enables you to create custom computer groups that you can use to test updates. For example, the following figure depicts three computer groups: two custom groups created by the administrator (Test and Accounting), as well as the built-in All Computers group.

In this example, the Test group contains a small number of computers representative of the computers in the Accounting group. The administrator can first approve updates for the Test group. If the testing goes well, the administrator can roll out the updates to the Accounting group.

Using computer groups to test updates

You can create multiple test computer groups with different configurations that resemble the computers in different departments in your organization.

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