What is Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)?
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a software provider for Microsoft Windows operating systems and software for updating services. The system works hand in hand with the public Microsoft Update website to provide administrators more control.
Microsoft hot fixes and updates enabled on Automatic Updates distributions are managed through Windows Server Update Services. Commonly, Windows Server Update Services are used by almost all computer users with an operating system running through the Microsoft Operating System. The main requirement to have WSUS operate on your desktop or laptop computers is that you must be running a genuine Windows operating system. The download for the software is free and all updates through Windows Server Update Services are genuinely from Microsoft not from any third party provider.
History of WSUS came from the Software Update Services (SUS), whose services only included operating system hot fixes and patches. Expanded range of services given by its updates was the added functions included in WSUS. Automatic downloads of hot fixes, updates, service packs, device drivers and feature packs to clients on a central server. This saves bandwidth, time and disk space, as the individual computers in a network do not have to connect to an external server themselves, but connect to a local central server. It also increases administrators’ control and allows clients to obtain updates in environments that do not have internet access. Information technology administrators can easily deploy the latest Microsoft product updates to computers with Windows operating system through Windows Serve Update Services. Full administrative power on distribution of updates released through Microsoft Update is one of the user friendly interfaces of this system. It could enable force updates of Microsoft Operating systems prior to its release, could decline any available updates, or even select certain downloads the user is in need of.
What is Windows Update anyway? It is the online extension of Windows Software that helps the users’ desktop/laptop computer up to date. Important updates including security updates, driver updates help protect your computer against new viruses and other security threats through the internet or software is distributed through Windows Update. Additional updates include enhancements and tools that can help your computer run efficiently. It also scans your computer and provides you a selection of updates that you want to apply only to the current software and hardware on your computer. Automatic updates is an optional service of Windows update, it lets you set up a specified time to begin Update of your computer’s hardware and software component through connecting the internet and accessing the windows update site. Operation needs an active internet connection to start its process. Broadband users have the luxury of just setting up a time for Windows Update to work on, while Dial-up connections could only access Windows update whenever they have successfully connected to the internet. Updates are essential in a computer’s software and hardware to ensure efficient function of its programs. It also removes, updates your computer from possible viruses spread out in the internet, and updates your anti-virus applications from blocking and removing new threats and viruses. Updates are seldom compressed and put up together to form a service pack, which is a compiled update for the computers software. It includes additional driver details not available from previous operating system the user have been using.
How safe and secure does this updates bring? Windows uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt the transfer of system information and all updates between your computer and the Windows Update Web site. Automatic Updates encrypts a digital signature for each file you download from Microsoft. These are intended to ensure the genuineness and integrity of signed files. Any incorrect digital signatures detected could not be further downloaded through the process.
Commonly, Windows Server Update Services are used by almost all computer users with an operating system running through the Microsoft Operating System. The main requirement to have WSUS operate on your desktop or laptop computers is that you must be running a genuine Windows operating system. The download for the software is free and all updates through Windows Server Update Services are genuinely from Microsoft not from any third party provider.
Different versions of Windows Server Update Services correspond to selected Microsoft software which it is focused on updating on. Take for example, Version 2.0, its added support pack on its Service Pack 1 is primarily on Windows Vista, Windows 7 operating system. Services offered through these update versions give ease to a lot of Microsoft software users. IE 7, an update for Internet Explorer 7 was one of the many updates included in WSUS’s patches. IE 7 enables Internet Explorer Browser to run on labeled not genuine Microsoft Operating systems, disabling the WGA validation which has been required in installing IE 7. WGA by the way is an anti-piracy scheme to check whether the user is running on a genuine operating system or from a pirated one.
Is there any such software distributed on the market? Yes, a few of these are Altiris, Desktop Authority, and Configure Soft ECM. It offers patch management solutions for the users. For Pushinf patches Altiris and DA were known in this area. An excellent solution on overall patches management functionality is ECM, but the excellence is proportional to its cost, making it expensive for large networks. But if you look into WSUS, it is free of charge on some versions, essential because it adds a great deal of granular control on patch management troubles. Capability to report problems is given importance and an ability to create custom reports easily with SQL queries based through a very simple and insightful user-friendly interface. Other versions that require payments for purchase is not that much to be bothered thinking about; the cost of purchase for such an intuitive service is just a fraction thereof.
A quote from a blogger that he shared about his own experience of the Windows Server Update Services indicated that his satisfaction is pleasing. He found consistency between the services rendered by WSUS and that from Microsoft Update website. It just shows effectiveness of this product. Leaning from the great services it presents on its manual, users can definitely have shared their personal satisfaction and gratitude from the services rendered by the product.