Windows Server Update Services

Windows Server Update Services

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) provides a software update service for Microsoft Windows operating systems and other Microsoft software. WSUS is a locally managed system that works with the public Microsoft Update website to give system administrators more control. By using Windows Server Update Services, administrators can manage the distribution of Microsoft hotfixes and updates released through Automatic Updates to computers in a corporate environment.


WSUS originated as Software Update Services (SUS), which delivered only operating system hotfixes and patches. WSUS builds on SUS by expanding the range of software it can update. The WSUS infrastructure allows automatic downloads of hotfixes, updates, service packs, device drivers and feature packs to clients in an organization from a central server(s), instead of using the public Microsoft Windows Update website. This saves bandwidth, time and disk space, as the individual computers in a network do not have to connect to an external server themselves, but connect to a local central server. It also increases administrators' control and allows clients to obtain updates in environments that do not have internet access.


Windows Server Update Services 2.0 comprises, collectively, a repository of update-packages from Microsoft, an instance of MSDE, a service that takes retrieved updates from upstream servers, and an IIS virtual site. As with many of Microsoft's newer server products, administration of WSUS takes place via a web interface. It allows administrators to approve or decline updates before release, to force updates to install by a given date and to obtain extensive reports on what updates each machine requires. System administrators can also configure WSUS to approve certain classes of updates automatically (critical updates, security updates, service-packs, device-drivers). One can also approve updates for "detection" only, allowing an administrator to see what machines will require a given update, without also installing that update.

Administrators can use WSUS with Active Directory Group Policy for client-side configuration of the Automatic Updates client, ensuring that end-users can't disable or circumvent corporate update policies. WSUS does not require the use of Active Directory, client configuration can also be applied by local group policy or by modifying the Windows registry.

Version 2.0 SP1 added support for Windows Vista and some other products. In version 3.0, a Microsoft Management Console "snap-in" can be used for administration of the server.

Microsoft has made WSUS available on their web site as a free download. Microsoft also plans on including WSUS with Windows Server 2008, as an out-of-band component.

Version history

* March 22, 2005 - 2.0 Release Candidate
* June 6, 2005 - 2.0 Release (build 2340)
* May 31, 2006 - 2.0 Service Pack 1 (adds support for Windows Vista clients, additional client languages, and using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a database backend, as well as performance improvements with the web-based user interface)
* August 14, 2006 - 3.0 beta 2(MMC based UI and loads of new features.)
* February 12, 2007 - 3.0 Release Candidate (build 3.0.6000.318)
* April 30, 2007 - 3.0 Release
** 12 May 2007: PCWorld: [ Microsoft Automatic Updates Fix not Working]
*** Version 3.0 causes some svchost.exe issues (100% CPU usage, Memory hogging and laptop fan/power usage).
** 22 May, 2007 - WSUS 3.0 full and client only updates will be available to WSUS.
* November 1, 2007 - 3.0 Service Pack 1 RC
* February 7, 2008 - WSUS 3.0 Service Pack 1 RTM. [ [ WSUS Product Team Blog : WSUS 3.0 SP1 is now RTM!!! ] ]

Supported software

As of August 2006, Windows Software Update Services supports updating the following Microsoft operating systems and software:
* Windows 2000
* Windows XP (32-bit, IA-64 and x64 Editions)
* Windows Vista
* Windows Server 2003
* Silverlight
* Windows Small Business Server 2003
* Exchange Server 2000
* Exchange Server 2003
* SQL Server
* Microsoft SQL Server 2005
* Office XP
* Office 2003
* Office 2007
* Microsoft ISA Server 2004
* Data Protection Manager 2006
* Windows Live Mail
* Windows Live Toolbar
* Forefront Client Utility
* Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
* Microsoft Zune


External links

* [ Microsoft WSUS TechCenter] , containing operations and deployment information
* [ Deploying Microsoft Windows Server Update Services]
* [ WSUS Product Team Blog]
* [ WSUS Wiki] — contains many detailed documents on WSUS operation, known issues, and troubleshooting
* [ WSUS.DE] - German WSUS-Community (Microsoft CLIP Community)

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