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Patching solutions for a LAN environment

I am a network administrator, and my company has a network of 400 PCs running Windows XP and Windows 2000 Professional. We want to deploy from the Windows 2000 Servers to all the clients in the network. Some PCs are in another subnet connecting through routers. Kindly suggest the best patch management solution for our network. Here is what it looks like:

192.168.0.1 to 192.168.1.254 -- LAN
192.168.2.1 -- subnetted through router with ADSL connection

Based on your description, you are looking for a solution that can handle scheduling of updates that will not overload your available bandwidth and can work in a LAN environment (I am not sure if the other clients are on the ADSL side of the router or are on another local segment). Most of the dedicated patch management solutions (for example, Shavlik, BigFix, PatchLink, Symantec, etc.) will have capabilities that can address your situation. Howerver, if you are looking for a no-purchase cost solution, you can take a look at Microsoft's Software Update Services (SUS). Keep in mind, though, that SUS will only allow you to update selected Microsoft operating system and application components -- it won't allow you to patch custom or third party applications.

For more information about SUS/WUS, visit our sister site SearchWinSystems.com.

This was first published in March 2005

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