Windows Server Update Services

What Does Windows Server Update Services Mean?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a free add-on application offered by Microsoft that can download and manage updates and patches for Windows Server operating systems. It is the successor of the previous Software Update Services (SUS) program. It helps in the constant updating of the wide range of operating systems and related applications provided by Microsoft. It enables the IT administrators of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) to effectively manage the distribution of updates released to the computers in their network.


Techopedia Explains Windows Server Update Services

WSUS is a software application provided by Microsoft to enable administrators to manage the distribution of updates and patches for the Microsoft software products to the computers in their network. WSUS analyses the current system and determines the required updates and helps users to manage the downloads in a corporate environment.

It is supported by a wide range of Microsoft products and in Microsoft Windows Server 2012, it is integrated with the operating system as a server role.

It is particularly useful for SMBs as it acts an intermediate between the simpler Windows Update used in individual PCs and the more robust Systems Management Server used in larger enterprises.

Some of the features provided by WSUS are:

  • Bandwidth management and network resource optimization
  • Automatic download of updates and category-wise downloads
  • Targeted download of updates to specific computer or sets of computers
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities
  • Multiple language support

Some of the updates provided by WSUS include critical updates, definition updates, drivers, feature packs, security updates, service packs, tools, update rollups and regular enhancements.

The group policy of WSUS allows admins to direct the workstations connected in their network to the WSUS server and restrict the end users’ access to Windows Update, thus giving the administrators full control over the network. The automatic downloads are enabled with the help of BITS and helps in optimizing the bandwidth usage.

WSUS uses .NET Framework, Microsoft Management Console and Internet Information Service for its operations.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.