Q

Setting the ability to use the update server

When creating the System Update policy for enabling SUS, how do you set the ability to use the Microsoft Windows Update server in the event that new updates become available and the workstation in question is not attached to the domain (i.e. traveling laptop)?
Traveling laptops must connect sometime. And, when they do, they'll get updates. There is no easy "magical way" for them to get SUS updates. So, my philosophy is to use SUS for when you've got desktops, but let your laptop users use the standard automatic Microsoft update service. That way, they'll get a constant stream of updates -- even if they're not connected to your network. My view might be unpopular, though, because in theory, all patches you roll out should be tested. However, when you cut laptop users free, you're essentially saying, "Well, I hope that new patch they download doesn't crash Windows." To that end, you might be better served with a third-party patch management system that accounts for laptops.
This was first published in March 2005

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