Monday, November 30, 2015

Windows Update for Business - how it works?

With Threshold 2 (v1511) Microsoft introduces Windows Update for Business (often also shortened as WUB). This is a new option to keep your infrastructure up-to-date. Just to avoid confusion. This is a new option. All old methods like WSUS/SUS or Windows Update still working!

This brings two benefits.

1. You get more granular control
2. You can use Windows Update without the need to use WSUS server on premise.

But keep in mind you need either: Windows Pro or Windows Enterprise. As Homeuser you do not have this option. There is an unsupported registry hack available as GPOs are using registry values.

When you use the Windows Insider program these settings are fully ignored (by purpose!)

How does it work.

Its very simple. Use this GPO
You find this GPO (since v1511 checkout the versioning blog entry here):
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Updates

You can control the upgrades (newer branches) and updates (e.g. Patch Tuesday Updates) differently. Upgrades you can defer by months. Updates you can defer by weeks.

Updates for Windows Defender are out of scope. Signature updates were installed as soon as they are available.

When you link this GPO with different settings on different OUs (Organizational Units) you can control how long a specific update/upgrade is defered.

If you find that a specific update/upgrade will cause an issue and you need additional time to fix it you can pause this until the next update/upgrade cycle. The checkbox is removed automatically after the next upgrade/update version appears.

This illustrates the different waves you can implement. You can also define more rings if you want. Typically you would also decide to test first with Insider branch or with current branch. Take advantage of your key users (e.g. SAP key user) to do the business process testing. The process owners are typically the guys they can tell you if the business process still works (e.g. SAP order, order printing etc.)

Here you find additional informations:

My video about Windows Update and Rollout (sorry it was my session at German Technical Summit. Therfore the slides and video is in German only!) If you hear bad noise just re-adjust and lower the audio volume level. Somehow the recording get mixed badly.
Have fun and enjoy WUB ;-)