Step 6: Create a Computer Group

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server Update Services

Computer groups are an important part of WSUS deployments, even a basic deployment. Computer groups enable you to target updates to specific computers. There are two default computer groups: All Computers and Unassigned Computers. By default, when each client computer initially contacts the WSUS server, the server adds it to both these groups.

You can create custom computer groups. One benefit of creating computer groups is that it enables you to test updates before deploying them widely. If the testing goes well, you can roll out the updates to the All Computers group. There is no limit to the number of custom groups you can create.

Setting up computer groups is a three-step process. First, you specify how you are going to assign computers to the computer groups. There are two options: server-side targeting and client-side targeting. Server-side targeting involves manually adding each computer to its group by using WSUS. Client-side targeting involves automatically adding the clients by using either Group Policy or registry keys. Second, you create the computer group on WSUS. Third, you move the computers into groups by using whichever method you chose in the first step.

This paper explains how to use server-side targeting and manually move computers to their groups by using the WSUS console. If you had numerous client computers to assign to computer groups you could use client-side targeting, which would automate moving computers into computer groups.

You can use Step 6 to set up a test group that contains at least one test computer.

This step contains the following procedures:

  • Specify server-side targeting.

  • Create a group.

  • Move computers to the group.

To specify the method for assigning computers to groups

  1. On the WSUS console toolbar, click Options, and then click Computer Options.

  2. In the Computer Options box, click Use the Move computers task in Windows Server Update Services.

  3. Under Tasks, click Save settings, and then click OK when the confirmation dialog box appears.

To create a group

  1. On the WSUS console toolbar, click Computers.

  2. Under Tasks, click Create a computer group.

  3. In the Group name box, type Test, and then click OK.

Use the next procedure to assign a client computer appropriate for testing to the test group. A client computer appropriate for testing is any computer with software and hardware indicative of the majority of computers on your network, but not a computer assigned to a critical role. In this way, you can tell how well the computers comparable to the test computer will fare with the updates you approve.

To manually add a computer to the Test group

  1. On the WSUS console toolbar, click Computers.

  2. In the Groups box, click the group of the computer you want to move.

  3. In the list of computers, click the computer you want to move.

  4. Under Tasks, click Move the selected computer.

  5. In the Computer group list, select the group you want to move the computer to, and then click OK.