Monday, May 5, 2014

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), previously known as Software Update Services (SUS), is a computer program developed by Microsoft Corporation that enables administrators to manage the distribution of updates and hotfixes released for Microsoft products to computers in a corporate environment. WSUS downloads these updates from the Microsoft Update website and then distributes them to computers on a network. WSUS runs on Windows Server and is free to licensed Microsoft customers.

The first version of WSUS was known as Software Update Services (SUS). At first, it only delivered hotfixes and patches for Microsoft operating systems. SUS ran on a Windows Server operating system and downloaded updates for the specified versions of Windows from the remote Windows Update site which was operated by Microsoft. Clients could then download updates from this internal server, rather than connecting directly to Windows Update.

WSUS builds on SUS by expanding the range of software it can update. The WSUS infrastructure allows automatic downloads of updates, hotfixes, service packs, device drivers and feature packs to clients in an organization from a central server.

System administrators can also configure WSUS to approve certain classes of updates automatically (critical updates, security updates, service packs, drivers, etc.). 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 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.

WSUS uses .NET Framework, Microsoft Management Console and Internet Information Services. WSUS 3.0 uses either SQL Server Express or Windows Internal Database as its database engine. WSUS 2.0 used WMSDE. System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) interoperates with WSUS, and is able to import third party security updates into the product.