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SUS Gets a Service Pack Upgrade

Microsoft’s Software Update Services has added a critical piece of functionality that promises to make it much more useful in the enterprise—the ability to install service packs.

Microsoft’s Software Update Services has added a critical piece of functionality that promises to make it much more useful in the enterprise—the ability to install service packs.

With Service Pack 1, SUS can now update and install the following products: Windows XP SP1, Windows 2000 SP4, and all future service packs for Windows 2000, Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 family of products.

SUS is Microsoft’s answer to patch management. It’s mostly used over a company LAN or WLAN, and installs patches and hotfixes through an update server. Until now, its use was somewhat limited in large environments due to its inability to handle service packs.

SUS contains both client-side and server-side components. The client side is based on Windows Update technology, which automatically pulls specified downloads from the update server and installs them. SUS also enhances security by keeping client computers from making calls to servers across the Internet for updates.

Note that SUS only updates operating systems and only those OSs Windows 2000 SP2 or newer; there is no support for SQL Server, Exchange Server or other Microsoft products.

Many large organizations use Systems Management Server (SMS) for software updating, but Microsoft says the two products are compatible and suggests using SUS more as a patch management and SP server, and using SMS more as an application deployment server.

SUS SP1 can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/downloads/.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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