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Configuring Windows Server Update Services

Posted on 2014-02-19
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Last Modified: 2014-03-08
I am planning to Deploy WSUS, so that I can install windows Updates on Servers.
However I do not want my servers to get rebooted during the production time.

I need to install the updates between 12am and 5am every day, since my servers will be set up by group on WSUS, and each group will be updated on a separate day between 12am and 5am.

** My concern is, let's say a server needs 15 Updates, and when the updates get installed one at a time, the update 1 will require reboot, then 2,3,4 will not require reboot, then 5 will require reboot, then 6.7,8,9 will not require reboot, then update 10 will require reboot, then 11,12,13,14, will not require reboot, and update 15 will require reboot.

in this case how many times the server will reboot, in order to install all 15 updates? is ts gonna reboot 4 times or just one time ?

***another case is, if a server needs 50 updates, but it has installed 40 updates and it ran out of time. I mean it is already 5am ….how do I configure WSUS to pick up the rest of the updates install next scheduled time, in case it runs out of the time window ?

Any help from an expert who has Actually used WSUS, will be very much appreciated.


Thank you
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Question by:jskfan
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by:Cliff Galiher
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The answer to your first question is "it depends."  Windows does what it can to optimize update installations to minimize the number of reboots. But some updates do have dependencies and therefore cannot be installed simultaneously. If you are keeping up to date on patching, you will *usually* only see one reboot. But if you are not, or if you reinstalled a machine from scratch, and it has to "catch up" on updates, then you'll see multiple reboots.

As to your second question, if you have WSUS set up properly, you'll not run out of time with that big of a window. I've seen fresh XP installs with hundreds of updates required get updated within a couple hours. A five hour window should be plenty. But as an answer to a theoretical situation, no, there is no "turn off" setting in WSUS. You can set a time when updates will *start* installing (for Win7 and below) but once started, it just runs. There is no supported way to stop installations at a later time.
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by:Seth Simmons
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when you do multiple updates, there is only 1 reboot
the only exception is with a service pack where there is likely multiple reboots, but not regular patches

if there are x updates, it will install x updates
the time you specify is the start time; it doesn't have a hard end as if it must finish within a 5 hour period - though realistically updates don't take that long anyway.  if there are 15 updates available, can't see it taking more than a few minutes to update then a few more minutes to reboot (varies if you are running bare metal or a virtual guest).  i've only seen some .net framework updates take a bit longer, but doesn't last for hours
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by:jskfan
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Thank you for your answers…however I believed you did not touch on my concern…

I am afraid..if for some reason a Server has not finished the install of the updates in a timely fashion then it might install the lagging updates and reboot the server during the production time… I want to avoid this….
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by:Cliff Galiher
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You can't.
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by:jskfan
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I cannot?

Do you mean MS Updates can reboot the server during Production Time ?
If so, I wonder how come Microsoft did not think about this Flaw…

How do you Guys update windows servers with WSUS? Do you have a dedicated night shift person to manually push updates and reboot servers, and makes sure there is no update hanging up?

I worked in environment where they have dedicated person to push updates and reboot servers using BigFix Patch Management software….but it costs a lot for the software and the night shift person.
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by:McKnife
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Even the largest patchday did not deliver more than 20 updates for one OS. So that with maybe exchange and maybe sql and some other software you will have 25 updates max.
This will not take more than two hours to complete, even on the slowest possible machine.
Normally, I think a patchday will take a server between 5 and 20 minutes. I am using wsus for more than 10 years.
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by:jskfan
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McKnife,

Can you please, provide snapshots or description on how you set up GPO settings for WSUS.

I have been in the environment where they set up WSUS, and they ended up having servers reboot during the production time. I believe This is due to the settings on windows updates GPO…

My concern is about how to properly set up GPO settings for WUpdates?
and whether there is a script that can tell you that there is an update hanging on install ( it is trying to install but taking too long), because this can trigger Reboot of the server when it is finished installing.
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McKnife earned 167 total points
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Let's keep it simple:
The GPO settings cannot go wrong, they cannot be configured wrong as long as you read the descriptive text. If servers reboot during production time, then someone set them to update at that time and also auto reboot afterwards.

So select a time window for downtime and set the schedule to install then and auto reboot - there's nothing to fear. Updating will normally take 5-15 minutes on a fast machine and the reboot including the update configuration time (on reboot) will be a minute or so, so there is one minute of downtime. If that is not acceptable, you will have to setup redundancy servers/clusters/whatever.

This problem is none.
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by:jskfan
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Thank you Guys !
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