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.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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