<< 9-27-2006 - An updated post for this topic is now available here >>
There is a current issue some customers are seeing whereby when the "SMS Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates" (ITMU) is run to either scan for or deploy security patches, the performance of the client machines may be severely affected, with the CPU spiking close to 100% for several minutes, or longer, in some situations.
Microsoft does understand the impact this is having on our customers and we have several teams working together to vigorously investigate this performance issue. We expect to have an update KB released within the next week once more information is available. That KB article when published should be KB 924148. It should be noted that this problem has been seen to also affect the Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to some degree with the problem being more noticeable on low end systems with limited resources.
When ITMU is used to install patches, a scan occurs prior to each patch that is being applied. So the scan issue is more noticeable during installation of multiple patches that are part of a single deployment. It is recommended to schedule ITMU scanning and patching to occur outside of normal business hours to minimize the impact this spike is having.
While this issue is similar to the issue documented in KB 900638 the workarounds of that KB are only partially effective in mitigating this issue.
We expect to have an update with more substantial information sooner than later. Please watch for the release of the update KB and I will also look to update this blog once it is available.
Brent G. Dunsire
Supportability Program Manager
Systems Management Server and SCRM