Automatic Updates for Servers?

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 27 Sept. 2005 / Last Updated on 27 Sept. 2005]

Should the Automatic Updates (AU) feature be used to keep your servers patched?

Automatic Updates (AU) is designed mainly to keep client computers up to date with critical security patches. While AU is a feature of Windows server platforms also, it's generally not a good idea to use AU by itself to patch your servers. Why? Two reasons:

  • Patches should always be tested before being applied to mission-critical servers.
  • Patches often require a reboot after being applied to servers.

So while turning on AU on your servers and just letting patches be automatically downloaded and installed at 3 am, it can cause service interruption to clients in a 24x7 environment, and it has the potential to blow up your server should the patch break something unexpected.

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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