Manage remote office computers

Updated: March 10, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

A remote office is an office with computers that are part of a Windows SBS 2008 domain but that are not located on the same physical network as the server running Windows SBS 2008. The remote office is connected to the Windows SBS 2008 domain (the main office) over the Internet by using a variety of connection types, such as DSL, a cable modem, or a leased line.


The remote office scenario does not differ greatly from the single office scenario, where all of the computers in the domain are on the same physical network as the server that is running Windows SBS 2008. However, you should consider the following important points if you use Update Services in a remote office scenario:

  • Just as in the single office scenario, Update Services can manage only computers that are joined to the Windows SBS 2008 domain.

  • Depending on the connection type, synchronization between the remote office computers and the server that is running Windows SBS 2008 may be noticeably slower than synchronization at the main office.

  • If the connection between the remote office and the main office is lost, computers at the remote office do not receive updates until the connection is restored. Alternatively, if the remote office has a working connection to the Internet, but not to the main office, you can manually update computers at the remote office by using Microsoft Update.

    To do so, on the remote computer, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 has a configuration option that client computers (including laptops) can use to continue to run compliance assessment against the WSUS server, but they must get any missing updates directly from Microsoft Update. You can use this configuration to manage update approval policy and also permit client computers to receive the update files directly from Microsoft Update. Client computer connectivity to Microsoft Update, in some cases, might be better than connectivity to the server that is running Windows SBS 2008.

    If you configure client computers to use Microsoft Update, in all domain-joined client computers receive update files directly from Microsoft Update.

You must be a network administrator to complete this procedure.

To configure client computers to receive update files from Microsoft Update
  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1.

  2. On the User Account Control page, click Continue.

  3. In the navigation pane, click Options. In the details pane, click Update Files and Languages.

  4. Select Do not store update files locally; computers install from Microsoft Update, and then click OK.

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