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Updating remote users with SMS

I guess I will not be a true disbeliever in automatic updates until they have been tested thoroughly on a single machine. SMS is good after the update has been found "glitch-free," because it allows us to update everyone, except for remote people, at one time. What do you recommend remote people who do not log onto the server use that won't cause their laptops to blow up?

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The best thing you can do in this situation is to download and test the updates internally, and then send a communication to the remote users on which updates are OK to install. Some companies will burn the applicable updates to CD and distribute them to remote users; others have the remote users access the Windows Update Web site with a "shopping list" of approved updates.

One other thing to consider, if the remote users dial-in or use a high-speed connection through VPN, 1e has an SMS add-on that will allow you to distribute updates over slower connections. It uses BITs technology similar to what SUS, Windows Update and SMS 2003 use to distribute software.

This was first published in October 2003

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