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Cross-Forest WSUS Patch Management

Posted on 2012-04-02
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi,

My current employers are co-hosting a number of client's Win 2003/2008 AD forests on our own infrastructure, and because the combined infrastructures are relatively small (~80 server hosts), I want to implement a single WSUS server that roll patches out to all servers.

Has anyone implemented a cross forest WSUS server, and if so, do you have any tips/advice/steps/manuals?
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Question by:cpadm
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by:cpadm
ID: 37796868
I have the following roll-out steps in my head:

1.) Install WSUS server (make sure patches not stored on OS drive...)
2.) Create a WSUS folder for each forest, with subfolders for each server OS/Role.
3.) Create a server WSUS group policy in each forest to point at the single WSUS server.
4.) Set all servers to download patches, but manually install
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Tony Massa earned 2000 total points
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WSUS isn't domain specific, so all you would need to do is configure all of the clients to point to a single WSUS server and then set up different groups for patching.

When I used to patch, I preferred not to use target groups, instead, manage the reboots on the computers, and managed the groups on WSUS instead.  I then set up patching and reporting groups that all computers were members of.  Because of our weird patching schedules, I did have to manually move servers into (and out of) the patching groups the week they were scheduled to patch, but servers are always a member of their respective reporting groups.

You generally would pick a subset of low-risk servers to patch first (can be from different 'forests'), then release the same patches to servers that are more important, but not business critical.  The last servers will be your 'critical' production group(s).  Some multi-teired apps need reboots in specific order, but if you are manually pushing the patches and not auto-rebooting, there isn't a lot to worry about.  It will save Internet bandwidth.  :)

You would probably want to use client-side targeting to prevent accidental grouping (mixing) of WSUS clients from the WSUS Admin console.  http://paulslager.com/?p=10
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