Testing Updates

Applies To: Windows Server Update Services

Until you install an update, you cannot be certain about the impact it will have on the existing code running on your systems. By installing an update in a test environment before deploying it to your production environment, you can analyze and assess its impact before it has the opportunity to harm your production systems. This can prevent unplanned downtime and lost productivity.

WSUS enables you to create custom computer groups, which you can use to test updates. For example, the following figure depicts three computer groups: two custom groups created by the administrator (Test and Accounting), as well as the built-in All Computers group.

In this example, the Test group contains a small number of computers representative of all the computers contained in the Accounting group. This creates a virtual test lab. The administrator can first approve updates for the Test group. If the testing goes well, the administrator can roll out the updates to the Accounting group.

You can expand this basic scenario to fit testing needs for your organization. For example, you can create multiple test computer groups that resemble actual computer groups containing computers with different configurations.