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Automatic Updates on my servers

Posted on 2007-03-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hi

How save is it to run Automatic Updates on your servers (2003 server, SBS 2003). Can I just go to the Windowsudate site and update all - or is there a risk factor involved??

Thanks
Jeanne
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Question by:Jeanne_SATS
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Expert Comment

by:StuFox100
ID: 18784583
HI Jeanne
It depends on the security of your site - if you are high secure site then any access is bad.
In general it is usually OK to access windows up from 2003 servers as it comes with IE Enhanced Security - which helps protect your server.
If you are concerned about accessing the web - you could limit access to one machine as use WSUS (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/updateservices/default.mspx) to deploy to other servers. I would recommend that if you have numerous (3+) servers,WSUS would allow much better control.
Cheers
Stu
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rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 18784694
The main reason I don't use automatic updates on a server is that some of them reboot the server when done. Although there aren't many of those updates left, there are still such ill behaved ones. I prefer rebooting the server by myself, and therefore I turn off those automatic updates and periodically visit the windows update site manually, and select those updates I want. A further advantage of running the updates yourself is that the auto updates only installs the security relevant and important updates, while manually you can select the others too. What I don't upgrade is driver updates, as those can often cause problems.

Also, if you run the updates yourself, you are prepared for mishaps and can then return the system to a pre-update version by uninstalling just installed updates. With automatic updates if something goes wrong you'll end up being called from another important project to repair from the mishap, and in such a case you will probably not be aware that an update caused this which will bind more of your precious time.

On the other hand I've only very seldom seen a case where a windows update caused problems, and it is essential that they are applied if you want to keep the system as secure as possible.
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Author Comment

by:Jeanne_SATS
ID: 18784709
Thanks guys for the advice,

now if I do the updates, do I create a restore point for the server. If so what will be the right way of making sure that if the update screws up your system, that you can go back to a point where it works?
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by:rindi
ID: 18784716
If something doesn't work, you'd just uninstall the updates through control panel, add / remove programs, and then make sure the updates check box is marked so the windows updates are shown.
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Assisted Solution

by:Irosha
Irosha earned 125 total points
ID: 18784941
Hi

if you have few servers and Workstations i suggest you to use the WSUS for get the updates from Microsoft.in this case the main advantage is not necessary to walk each computer and run the automatic updates. WSUS always check for updates from Microsoft and prompt you to install those updates in your servers and Workstations. so if you like to install those updates you can install it.

Before installing updates in your actual environment you can deploy those updates to testing environment.
so you can check the usability of those updates.
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