In early June, Microsoft released
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
, the much-anticipated update to its
Software Update Services (SUS) and Redmond’s latest answer to server and
desktop administrators’ patching woes. As the successor to SUS, WSUS features
improvements in patch delivery, status reporting, network usage and
implementation, and administration flexibility.

SUS had several limitations, including the fact that it only
updated the Windows operating systems—and only Windows 2000 and earlier versions.
WSUS includes support for Windows 2000 and later
operating systems, as well as Microsoft Office Suite 2003, Microsoft Office
Suite XP, Exchange Server 2003, SQL Server 2000, and MSDE 2000. And Microsoft
plans to continue adding support for other products, eventually including all
corporate software.

WSUS includes a number of helpful features that make it a
worthy contender in the patching game. First of all, it’s free—the tool is a
no-charge add-on to the Windows Server family of products.

In addition, WSUS can install and uninstall patches, and it features rollback capability for the updates. Administrators
can configure clients to periodically look for new patches. And for patches
that don’t require a reboot, WSUS can install them silently with no user
interaction required.

To learn more about WSUS, check out Microsoft’s
WSUS Web page

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