WSUS Client-side Configuration Options

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WSUS Client-side Configuration Options

The four features described in this topic make up the client-side component of the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) solution.

Powerful and Extensible Management of the Automatic Updates Service

In an Active Directory environment, administrators can configure the behavior of Automatic Updates by using Group Policy. In other cases, administrators can remotely configure Automatic Updates using registry keys through the use of a logon script or similar mechanism.

Administrators can configure client computers in the following ways:

  • Configure scheduling and notification options for users through Group Policy.
  • Configure how often the client computer checks the update source (either Microsoft Update or another WSUS server) for new updates.
  • Configure Automatic Updates to install updates that do not require reboots or service interruptions as soon as the Automatic Updates service finds them and not wait until the scheduled automatic installation time.
  • Manage client computers through the Component Object Model (COM)-based API. For more information, see Windows Update Agent API.
Self-Updating for Client Computers

If connected to a WSUS server, client computers can detect if a newer version of Automatic Updates is available, and then upgrade their Automatic Updates service automatically.

Automatic Detection of Applicable Updates

Automatic Updates can download and install specific updates that are truly applicable to the computer. Automatic Updates works with the WSUS server to evaluate which updates should be applied to a specific client computer. You initiate this by approving an update for detect-only. Then the specific computer will only receive updates it is configured to detect.

Service Efficiency

The Automatic Updates service:

  • Works in the background so as to minimize the impact on employee productivity and network functionality.
  • Consolidates updates that require computer restarts into a single restart.
  • Eliminates the need for users in a managed environment to interact with end user license agreements (EULAs). EULAs are accepted on the WSUS server by administrators on behalf of client computers.

In addition, Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.0 employs delta compression to facilitate downloads that are invisible to the user. For example, after Automatic Updates downloads an update to a client computer, it will continue to monitor either the upstream WSUS server or Microsoft Update, and then download only changes in an update file to the client computer. This technology also enables efficient distribution of service packs through Automatic Updates.