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Demystifying Exchange Updates for the WSUS Admin

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Hi folks,


I am a member of the team that releases Microsoft Exchange updates out to the general public (my previous introduction), and I wanted to explain a bit about WSUS (Microsoft Windows Server Update Services) and how we treat cluster vs. non-cluster installs.


  • Exchange does offer updates via the WSUS server
  • Exchange updates to be installed on a cluster must be manual installed after stopping the cluster service on the node being updated
  • Previous Exchange updates downloaded to the WSUS server do not offer the ‘deadline’ capability

I understand that lack of ability to ‘deadline’ packages can cause WSUS administrators grief, especially when they have many computers to update. Previously, Exchange updates could not offer the ‘deadline’ ability because WSUS turns it off globally if it detects that any package in the bundle requires a manual install. So Exchange updates would contain both the cluster and non-cluster packages. Yes, I had to place the same package twice in an update to handle the two different scenarios. Given that I wanted to enable WSUS administrators to have automated installations for non-clusters, I decided to tackle the problem by breaking up these two scenarios and begin releasing two separate updates for Exchange 2003 updates. I have not done this for Exchange 2000, as we would have had to re-release the Exchange 2000 post-SP3 Rollup. Moving forward, for every Exchange 2003 update that is pushed out, WSUS admins will see two versions of the update. We will still target each update to a specific release/service pack of Exchange. The non-cluster version will be labeled “Non cluster” and ‘deadline’ will be possible. The cluster version will be labeled “Cluster” and will still not have the ability of ‘deadline’ because of the manual installation requirement.


So here it is:


Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 (KBXXXXXX)

                Will target both cluster and non-cluster


Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (KBXXXXXX) - Cluster

                Will target cluster installations


Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (KBXXXXXX) – Non Cluster

                Will target non-cluster installations


Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (KBXXXXXX) - Cluster

                Will target cluster installations


Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (KBXXXXXX) – Non Cluster

                Will target non-cluster installations


Note: IMF updates are not addressed with this blog.


Scott Roberts

  • DPM added to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) synchronization options in Microsoft Update vuh ?

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  • Having seperate classifications can then me we can ignore the one we don't want  don't approve the wrong updates as they can be filtered.

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