WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) is been around for a while, it´s predecessor was SUS (Software Update Services). Both were designed to minimize Windows administrators efforts to deploy the latests products updates to their servers and workstations.
This amazing tool has evolved a lot since it´s first release, the current version is 3.0 SP1. Prior to WSUS 3.0, the other versions were based on web interface. Now, the lastest version is based on another very familiar tool for Windows administrators, MMC (Microsoft Management Console).
How WSUS works?
It provides a management infrastructure consisting on the following:
WSUS pushes the latests software updates from Microsoft Update web site. This component is installed on a Windows Server 2003 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 inside the corporate LAN, allowing administrators to manage and distribute updates through WSUS 3.0 Administration Console, which can also be installed on any windows machine in the domain.
WSUS server can also be configured to push updates from other WSUS servers, instead of Microsoft Update web site, creating a upstream and downstream infrastructure scenario between those update servers. Where, only one server syncs with Microsoft Update. This scenario is most usefull for save bandwidth.
The great news for WSUS administrators is that Internet Explorer 8 will be available for deployment via WSUS on August 25. For those companies that were planning to deploy IE8 using Internet Explorer Administration Kit, now have one more option for deployment.
But, if you don´t want to deploy IE8 for your clients, you have to make some steps before the above date.
For more information, read the Internet Explorer Team blog announcement.