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Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables LTS administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates to ITS-managed computers that are running the Windows operating system. By using WSUS, ITS administrators manage the distribution of updates that are released through Microsoft Update.

What updates does ITS provide using WSUS?

The following table shows the available updates and which update classifications are managed by ITS.

Update ClassificationDescriptionManaged by ITS

Critical updates

Broadly released fixes for specific problems addressing critical, non-security related bugs.


Definition updates

Updates to virus or other definition files.



Software components designed to support new hardware.


Feature packs

New feature releases, usually rolled into products at the next release.


Security updates

Broadly released fixes for specific products, addressing security issues.


Service packs

Cumulative sets of all hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and updates created since the release of the product. Service packs might also contain a limited number of customer-requested design changes or features.



Utilities or features that aid in accomplishing a task or set of tasks.


Update rollups

Cumulative set of hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and updates packaged together for easy deployment. A rollup generally targets a specific area, such as security, or a specific component, such as Internet Information Services (IIS).



Broadly released fixes for specific problems addressing non-critical, non-security related bugs.


Why does ITS manages some updates?

ITS manages the most needed updates (Critical, Definition, and Security Updates). ITS downloads these updates to a server on campus that Windows operating system then download their updates from. This decreases network traffic on campus since all Windows operating systems download updates from a server on campus instead of Microsoft's servers.

Do I need to download updates not managed by ITS?

You can but you should be aware that some updates have been known to cause problems.

How do I know if my updates are managed by ITS?

Open Windows Update and you will be able to tell by seeing if it says "You receive updates: Managed by your systems administrator." The picture below shows what Windows Update will look like when your updates are managed by ITS.

Displaying Capture.PNG

How is this different from getting Windows Updates directly from Microsoft?

Results should be very similar. Using our own WSUS server allows Brandeis to better track which computers have been updated and allows updates to be downloaded quickly.

What If I don't want to apply Windows Updates?

Computers on the internet, running Windows, and missing Critical Updates are ticking time bombs. They are bad for everyone's security. You will need to apply updates if you want to use the internet.


  1. does this belong under Computer Equipment or somewhere under Software?

    1. Excellent question! I'm not sure, since WSUS effects computer equipment, I figured it should go here. I don't have any objections to moving it though.