Suggestion on handling Windows / Office Updates in a Windows Server 2003 env

Hi!

I've got a Windows server 2003 env, and was interested in getting some feedback on the best mechanisms for keeping all of the pc's on my network(XP-PRO and Win2K) up to data on Windows updates.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!!!
HubTechnicalAsked:
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luv2smileConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here's the main microsoft page that will give you lots of information on SUS.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/sus/default.mspx

It has its ups and downs...it doesn't go in depth on being able to get stats, etc. like other bought patch management software...but then again...its free from microsoft. Its fairly easy to manage as it utlizes group policy.
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PsiCopCommented:
Ah, a task similar to trying to clean out the Aegean Stables with a whisk broom.

ZENworks (http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks) or PatchLink (http://www.patchlink.com/).
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luv2smileCommented:
Well if you want a free microsoft answer then SUS is the option. SUS does windows updates, but not office updates. Microsoft is working in WUS as a replacement to SUS which will include the ability to push office updates.
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HubTechnicalAuthor Commented:
Is SUS easy to manage?
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lyle-grangerCommented:
Microsoft has a product called SUS server that is a free download.  I have heard mixed things about it in previous revisions it sounds like it is better now.  I am in the process of evaluating the current version.  Here is the link:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=6930.

Here is briefly how it works:
Rather than have all the users running auto updates, run a Microsoft SUS server, it's a free download.  With this, you have a policy in AD to tell all the clients to auto update from a local server.  This will save internet bandwidth, and you approve the updates on the server.  The server will update with Microsoft when there is a new update posted, you will go to the server and after testing the updates, you put a approval check mark on the update(s).  Then at a time you have set in the group policy, the clients will auto update.  This way you control what updates are applied to the clients and when.

I have some White Papers from Microsoft explaining everything in much more detail if you are interested.  You can reach me at lyle.granger@gmail.google.com

Hope this helps.

Lyle
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luv2smileCommented:
If you have a large network then the microsoft answer to windows management is SMS which is a paid feature that has its own version of SUS.
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luv2smileCommented:
Lyle,

Please remember that it is against EE guidelines to post your e-mail address in posts.
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
> keeping all of the pc's on my network(XP-PRO and Win2K) up to data on Windows updates

do you mean "up to date"? if so, i believe the followings are what you are looking for:

Understanding Patch and Update Management: Microsoft’s Software Update Strategy
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/topics/patch/patchmanagement.mspx

Microsoft Solutions for Management: Patch Management Using Microsoft Software Update Services
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=38D7E99B-E780-43E5-AA84-CDF6450D8F99&displaylang=en

Windows Update Services
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/sus/default.mspx

hope it helps,
bbao
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lyle-grangerCommented:
luv2smile

I appreciate your insight.  I have read most of the guidelines and did not see that one.  Could you please direct me to that information.

Thanks.

Lyle
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Yan_westCommented:
Use HFNetChkPro..

It can deploy patch for Office/Windows nt/2000/xp/2003, SQL Server, Exchange Server... it also deploy all service packs for most of microsoft products.. you can schedule deployment, and you have nice reporting features..

http://www.shavlik.com/hfn_windows.aspx
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Yan_westCommented:
Even microsoft use this company engine for MSBA.. compared to windows SUS, this software detect what patches/sp are installed/missing, and show it to you on screen..
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luv2smileCommented:
Lyle,

No problem.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/help.jsp#hi99

This is the clause that discusses this:

"A related issue is the posting of email addresses in questions (if you want to post your email address in your profile, that's allowed.) The only people at Experts Exchange who have access to your email address are the staff and the administrators -- the Moderators do NOT have access to it. Your privacy is protected by the small number of people (fewer than ten). By posting your email address, you're subject to receiving email from who knows how many people. The Moderators and Page Editors have been told to automatically remove email addresses from questions."
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lyle-grangerCommented:
luv2smile

Thanks.  I appreciate your help

Lyle
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plemieux72Commented:
If you are still intersted in SUS, here is a good article written by Mark Minasi as part of his newsletters:

http://www.minasi.com/showdoc.asp?docname=nws0401.htm

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