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Windows Server 2003 SP2 To Be 'Pushed' on Patch Tuesday

The next "Patch Tuesday" will also be "Upgrade Tuesday" for admins, as Microsoft releases Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) through Automatic Updates.

SP2 has been out since March 13, which was also a Patch Tuesday. Patch Tuesday is when Microsoft releases security patches for all its products. It's always the second Tuesday of each month. This is the first time, however, it will automatically be pushed to users.

That doesn't mean it will be automatically installed, however. Admins will still have to go through the standard process of accepting the End-User License Agreement (EULA) and go through the Welcome screen before installation begins, according to a notice on the Windows Server Division blog. Admins also have the option of blocking the update through a toolkit specifically released for blocking the SP2 update.

SP2 includes a number of enhancements for management, security and scalability. The latest version of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), version 3.0, is included. The MMC provides a common management interface for myriad snap-ins which help manage a network. Also included is improved filtering for IPsec, Microsoft's IP security technology, and the introduction of the Scalable Networking Pack (SNP), which helps in scaling up network-based applications to meet heavier user demand.

Those improvements don't mean that installing SP2 is a slam dunk, however. According to Microsoft, some businesses using Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 are encountering problems, including:

- An inability to successfully connect inbound using VPN (Clients get "Error 800: Unable to establish connection").

- No reliable connection to the Internet using SecureNat.

- Some Outlook clients fail to connect to the Exchange server

The problems aren't exclusive to SBS, Microsoft said, but they tend to be found more often in SBS shops. SP2 is also causing problems with firewalls, both the built-in Windows Firewall and some third-party firewalls.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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