Applying the appropriate patches in a timely manner is critical to the continuing success of your IT organization. While there are many patch management applications available that can help you install all kinds of patches, these apps can be expensive and difficult to set up.
If you're strapped for funds, consider using Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) to handle critical patches. (Microsoft plans to rename this to Windows Update Services, or WUS, with the next release.)
SUS has a server component and a client component. Windows Server 2003 already includes the version of Automatic Update that's necessary for SUS to operate. However, SUS doesn't support clients older than Windows 2000.
SUS offers the ability to deploy critical updates, security patches, and service packs from a central Windows Server 2003 system. Keep in mind that SUS supports only operating system patches. If you need support for other products, such as Exchange, SQL, or Office, SUS is not the best choice.