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Configure Computer Groups

Updated: March 10, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Update Services automatically configures client computers and additional servers that are joined to the Windows® Small Business Server 2008 domain so that they download updates from the computer on the network that is running Windows SBS 2008 and not from the Microsoft Update servers.

When Update Services is first installed, Group Policy objects (GPOs) are created and linked at the domain level. When client computers and additional servers in the domain refresh their Group Policy settings, these GPOs are applied.

noteNote
The default cycle to refresh Group Policy settings on computers running Windows is 90 minutes. You can also refresh Group Policy settings on network computers immediately in either of the following ways:

  • Log off the computer and then log back on.

  • Use gpupdate /force at the command prompt on the computer. For more information, see Troubleshooting tools.

The Windows SBS Manager Service keeps track of which computers are registered with Active Directory, and the service assigns the computers to the correct Computer Group so that the appropriate Update Services settings are applied.

  • Domain-joined client computers refresh their Group Policy settings every 90 minutes. There is a delay after a client computer joins the domain and before it is registered with Update Services.

Computer Groups

To help you more easily administer the updates for computers that are joined to the Windows SBS 2008 domain, Update Services classifies the network computers into two groups: Server Computers and Client Computers. Using groups helps you manage updates for computers on the network differently, based on the role or usage of the computers.

 

Computer Group Definition

Update Services Server Computers group

  • A computer is classified as a server if it is running Windows Server 2003 or later.

  • The computer that is running Windows SBS 2008 is in the Server Computers group by default.

Update Services Client Computers group

  • A computer is classified as a client computer if it is running one of the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2), or

    • Windows Vista

In some cases, you may want to move a computer from one computer group to another, or you may want to exclude a computer from Update Services management altogether. For either task, use the Change the software update settings task on the Included Computers tab. See the following procedures.

noteNote
If you move a computer to another group, (for example, if you move a computer from the Update Services Client Computers group to the Update Services Server Computers group), it takes 90 minutes for this change to apply. This is because network computers refresh their Group Policy settings every 90 minutes.

Complete the following procedure to move a computer from one computer group to another.

noteNote
You must be a network administrator to complete this procedure.

To move a computer to a different computer group
  1. Open the Windows SBS Console.

  2. Click Security, and then click Updates.

  3. In the tasks pane, click Change the software update settings.

  4. Click Included Computers. In the list of included computers, click the computer that you want to move, and then click Modify.

  5. Click the Update Group that you want move the computer to, and then click OK to close the Change the members of an update group dialog box.

  6. Click OK to close the Software Update Settings dialog box.

Complete the following procedure to exclude a computer from Update Services:

noteNote
You must be a network administrator to complete this procedure.

To exclude a computer from Update Services
  1. Open the Windows SBS Console.

  2. Click Security, and then click Updates.

  3. In the tasks pane, click Change the software update settings.

  4. Click Included Computers. In the list of included computers, click the computer that you want to exclude, and then click Remove. The computer appears in the Excluded column.

  5. Click OK to close the Software Update Settings dialog box.

noteNote
Excluded computers no longer receive updates from Update Services, but they still appear in reports that are created with the View the Update deployment report task. This is to help make you aware of possible security risks.

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