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Mr. Matt

Microsoft's Virtual Server & Wsus Localized Microsoft Updates with WSUS under Windows Server 2003 VHD

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Where I work, we're having some bandwidth problems with so many clients needing to run Microsoft Updates. I've recently been playing around with some pentest tools targeting a series of testbed platforms running the same software deployed within our network. A lot of this kind of testing presents very alarming results and really brings out the significance behind keeping your Windows system up to date as frequently as possible.However, this is a little cumbersome when you have hundreds of Windows workstations wanting to update and connect to Microsoft Updates all at the same time. To my surprise, Microsoft offers their Virtual Server software free for download along with some Virtual Hard Drive images for (what I've tested), Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Core (a.k.a. Longhorn). Additionally, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is completely free and installed, configured and ran properly under the Windows Server 2003 virtual hard drive I downloaded.WSUS, however, required a number of dependencies to be installed before working properly. The virtual hard drive images are the completed installations so I had to look for the original installation files. These can be found in the local root of the drive within the virtualized system under WindowsInstallationFiles in the I386 folder. This is where I pointed the Windows Components installer to install a required dependency, Internet Information Services (IIS).Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0+ along with ReportViewer (both available from Microsoft's website) must also be installed before setting up WSUS.Once installed and configured, you can proceed to configure client workstations to now use the WSUS server to download their updates by editing the local group policy on the client workstation and using an intranet server (gpedit.msc: Computer Configuration -> Windows Components -> Windows Updates).The initial synchronization will take a couple hours or so, depending on your pipe. However, you can always schedule subsequent synchronizations to download over the weekend when staff is off work or outside normal business operation hours.

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