Microsoft System Center Software Update Management Field Experience

Microsoft System Center Software Update Management Field Experience

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Focused technical guidance from System Center experts

Part of a series of specialized guides on System Center--this book walks through the tools and resources used to manage the complex task of tracking and applying software updates to client computers in the enterprise using Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, or later. Written by experts on the Microsoft System Center team and with Microsoft MVP Mitch Tulloch as series editor, this title focuses on maintaining operational efficiency, minimizing security issues, and maintaining the stability of the network infrastructure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735695894
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 02/20/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 57,593
File size: 13 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Andre Della Monica is a Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft and has been working with System Center Configuration Manager since it was known as SMS. Before becoming a Premier Field Engineer, he was recognized as a top Support Engineer on Consumer Technical Support for Microsoft Platform products. Andre attended college at Sao Paulo, Brazil, and earned his technology degree in Computer Network Management. He resides in Houston, Texas, with Rose his wife and his daughter Sarah. In his free time, he enjoys producing and recording music, as well as being an Xbox gamer.

Chris Shilt is a Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft and has been working with System Center Configuration Manager, in one iteration or another, for over 12 years. Prior to working at Microsoft, he managed software updates for a major command with the U.S. Air Force. A lifelong resident of Ohio, he lives in a small town north of Dayton with Annie, his wife of 21 years. He is the proud father of Zach and Jessie, both of whom will graduate from college this spring.

Russ Rimmerman is a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer with a primary focus on System Center Configuration Manager. During his 12-year tenure working with Configuration Manager, he has engaged with customers with moderately simple to ultra-complex Configuration Manager hierarchies of all sizes in nearly every industry. Before joining Microsoft, Russ spent five years in the U.S. Air Force and also spent time as both a consultant and as a senior IT administrator. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, and in his free time he enjoys swimming, anything involving computers, and, most importantly, spending time with his wife and new twin boys, Owyn and Jaxen.

Rushi Faldu, a Senior Premier Field Engineer supporting System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune, has been with Microsoft for over nine years. He has worked with the product since it was known as SMS 2.0. He is a Technology Manager for Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune products. He is also a lead for the System Center Concepts and  Administration and Enterprise Mobility Suite: Managing Devices with InTune and Configuration Manager workshops. He was lead author for the ebooks Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager and Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience from Microsoft Press. Rushi resides in New Jersey and enjoys P90X workouts and running outside in his free time. He loves hiking, camping, and playing tennis with his daughters.

(Contributing Author) Sameer Patil, a consultant for Microsoft Global Delivery, has been working with System Center Configuration Manager since 2007. He has been working, globally, on various deployment projects that use Configuration Manager as a key infrastructure product in the solutions. Sameer attended college at Navi Mumbai, India, earning an engineering degree. He resides in Mumbai, India, and travels for work most of the time.

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published hundreds of articles on a wide variety of technology sites and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books. Mitch is one of the most popular authors at Microsoft Press--the almost two dozen ebooks on Windows Server and System Center he either wrote or was Series Editor on have been downloaded more than 2.5 million times! For a complete list of free ebooks from Microsoft Press, visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy at

Mitch has repeatedly received Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions to supporting the global IT community. He is a ten-time MVP in the technology area of Windows Server Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing. You can find his MVP Profile page at

Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter focused on system admin and security issues for the Windows Server platform. With almost 100,000 IT pro subscribers worldwide, WServerNews is the most popular Windows Server-focused newsletter in the world. Visit and subscribe to WServerNews today!

Mitch also runs an IT content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada, that produces white papers and other collateral for the business decision maker (BDM) and technical decision maker (TDM) audiences. His published content ranges from white papers about Microsoft cloud technologies to reviews of third-party products designed for the Windows Server platform. Before starting his own business in 1998, Mitch worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Productivity Point.

For more information about Mitch, visit his website at You can also follow Mitch on Twitter @mitchtulloch.

Table of Contents

Introduction     vii
Chapter 1: Understanding software update architecture: server side     1

Fundamentals     1
Configuration items     1
Software update point     2
Multiple software update points     2
Software update point failover process     3
Internet-based software update point     4
Software updates on a secondary site     5
Using an existing WSUS server     5
Software update data     5
The synchronization process     8
Scheduled vs. manual synchronization     8
The software update point features     9
The metadata synchronization     10
Configuration Manager inter-site replication     11
Firewall considerations     12
The flow of binary data     12
Software Update policy deployment     14
The policy creation flow     14
Chapter 2: Understanding software update architecture: client side     17
Software update client architecture features     17
Windows Update Agent     18
Windows Update data store     21
Software update client architecture features     17
Windows Update Agent     18
Windows Update data store     21
Configuration Manager Software Updates Client Agent     21
Windows Management Instrumentation     26
Configuration Manager client cache     34
Software update scanning process     34
Software update installation process     35
Chapter 3: Managing software updates     37
The patch management process model     37
Phase 1: Assess     38
Phase 2: Identify     38
Phase 3: Evaluate and Plan     39
Phase 4: Deploy     40
Understanding software update groups     41
Reporting groups     41
Rollup groups     41
Monthly groups     42
Quarterly and yearly groups     42
Using software update groups     42
Using a phased rollout strategy     44
Using deployment templates     44
Using deployment packages      45
Deploying software updates      48
Automatic deployment of software updates     48
Manual deployment of software updates     49
Understanding superseded and expired updates     52
Understanding the expired updates cleanup process     54
Manually removing expired updates     54
Configuring the maintenance window     54
Chapter 4: Monitoring software updates     57
Compliance accuracy     57
Compliance states from the console     57
Managing client health     59
Tracking compliance data     62
Software update summarization     63
Alerts     64
Monitoring an individual update     65
Monitoring a deployment     67
Deployment Monitoring Tool     69
Built-in and custom reports     73
Software update reports     73
Client status reports     75
Custom reports     75
Chapter 5: Software updates automation     83
Understanding automatic deployment rules     83
Creating automatic deployment rules     84
Automating software update database maintenance     93
Site server software update automation      96
Client software update automation     104
Community resources for software update automation     106


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