Microsoft tool learns new patching trick

Microsoft on Wednesday gave IT managers a speedier way to get their patches installed by making it possible to use an existing Windows utility to deliver and deploy service packs.

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Microsoft on Wednesday gave IT managers a speedier way to get their patches installed by making it possible to use an existing Windows utility to deliver and deploy service packs.

Microsoft said this week that Software Update Services can now be used to deploy service packs, whereas in the past, IT managers had to use a separate patch management system, such as Systems Management Server (SMS), to get the packs installed.

The current version of SUS, SUS 1.0 with SP1, will not only provide service pack delivery, but will also roll out Windows XP SP1, Windows 2000 SP4 and future service packs for Windows 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003, according to Microsoft.

"It's been one of the most requested features of SUS," said Rod Trent, publisher of myITforum.com, a Web community dedicated to SMS and other Windows management issues. "This allows companies that don't have another patch management system in place to provide service pack delivery for free."

Trent said it's likely that Microsoft put this feature on the top of its list because of all the recent vulnerabilities plaguing Windows users. There are many patches that require a certain level of service pack in order to be properly installed. This will help customers in that the packs will be downloaded automatically and customers don't have to go searching for them.

IT managers will still have to approve the patches before they are loaded on a server, Trent said.

SUS 2.0 is slated to enter beta before the end of the year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Article: SUS vs. SMS: Who needs 'em?

Expert advice: The low-down on SUS

Expert advice: Submit a question to SMS expert Rod Trent

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