Get Started with Update Management

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Get Started with Update Management

This section provides information to help you manage the service packs, updates, and security updates that you apply to the servers in your data center. There are several technologies and approaches outlined in this document; the one that is right for you depends on your situation:

  • No update management - If you do not currently have an update management process and you are looking for the simplest solution, use the Automatic Updates feature of Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). If you are using Microsoft Automated Deployment Services (ADS), you can integrate the configuration of the Automatic Updates client in the new servers you deploy.
  • Manual update management - If you currently apply updates manually and are looking for greater automation and centralized control, use the WSUS client server technology to streamline your update process and centrally manage your updates.
  • Third-party update management - If you currently use a third-party update management system, learn how WSUS can reduce the time, cost, and risk associated with update management.
  • Large-scale operations - If your data center is large or you need additional functionality, you may want to learn more about Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS).

The decision of whether to apply updates automatically or manually, and with or without testing, will become clear to you when you consider the various categories of computers in your organization. It is likely that you will combine multiple strategies for update management to best suit your needs. For more information, see Categorize Your Equipment.

The Update Management section focuses primarily on update management for your hosting solution servers, but the information is equally valid for your infrastructure, internal servers, and desktop computers.

For help planning your update management strategy, see Plan Your Update Management Strategy.

Lab Testing

We recommend that you install and test your update management solution in a test environment prior to production deployments. Testing in a controlled environment allows you to verify success, validate performance, audit security, and evaluate integration into your existing systems.

Features of Update Management

This section describes features that are new to this version of the Update Management portion of the solution. Windows Server Update Services has replaced Software Update Services (SUS) which was used in previous versions of the solution.

Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) delivers core update management infrastructure in Windows Server with added support for updating Microsoft products, advanced network optimization, flexible update management capabilities, and essential status reports-all of which significantly increase administrative productivity and efficiency.

WSUS builds on the features of SUS by providing the following:

  • More updates for Microsoft products, in more categories.
  • The ability to automatically download updates from Microsoft Update by product and type.
  • More language support for customers worldwide.
  • Maximized bandwidth efficiency through Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.0. (BITS 2.0 is not installed by WSUS, and is available on Microsoft Update.)
  • The ability to target updates to specific computers and computer groups.
  • The ability to verify that updates are suitable for each computer before installation (this feature runs automatically for critical and security updates).
  • Flexible deployment options.
  • Reporting capabilities.
  • Flexible database options.
  • Data migration and import/export capabilities.
  • Extensibility through the application programming interface (API).