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Windows Server 2016 Patching: What IT Pros Need To Know

Update Date: Nov 14, 2016 06:58 AM EST

The Windows Server 2016 patch, just like the monthly updates, won't differ much, but might suffer from some shortcomings. In late October, a "Patching with Windows Server 2016" blog was set up by Microsoft to explain the details about the patch, and when the server is getting it. Basically the server will be getting the patch in the form of two updates that would be done on different days of the month.

Windows Server 2016 Cumulative Updates

For the installation, there would be a security update at first, followed by a quality tested update some weeks later. Cumulative updates with security patches arrive by the second Tuesday of each month, and the quality fix updates arrive on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Both the updates will contain all the past security updates and quality fixes, as Microsoft puts it. Microsoft earlier had a different update model for security patches and quality fixes, for its older servers and clients. These servers included the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012. This time around, the older Windows products will be getting the security updates and fixes on the same day.

Many organisations have expressed dismay for these security updates, as they arrive superseded. What that means is that the quality update consists of the security patches in the security updates, making these security updates as unnecessary. Organisations can delay the supersedence of those updates, however System Center Configuration Manager 2007 users won't be able to modify the rules of the patch management system, Microsoft explains.

The 2016 Server update is more malleable as it easily permits organisations to look out for security updates, if that is what they want. Customers would be able to choose a security only update, rather than patching all the cumulative updates.

Other Monthly Updates

Preview updates for the Windows Server 2016 would arrive by the third Tuesday every month and these updates apply to Server. Moreover, the Server 2016 would be getting .NET framework monthly rollup, which are cumulative and arrive on second Tuesdays. There are two versions of rollups, one that has quality fixes and security patches, and another one which only has security patches, and both arrive on the same day.

Automatic Updates are Defaulted on Server 2016

The Server 2016 will be getting automatic updates by default for downloading the cumulative updates. However, organisations can select when to install these updates, if they are using Windows Server Update Services. This control provided to organisations, is important because the Server 2016 updates arrive as "optional" updates, and later they become "recommended". This is done for providing a testing period for IT pros.

Users can also use the Server Configuration tool (Scongif.cmd) for managing Windows Updates behavior.

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