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WSUS - Supersedence:

Best Practices for authoring supersedence:

For Non-definition updates:
  • Updates (including expired updates) that are transitively superseded must be explicitly listed.
  • Transitive Supersedence: The client infers from A > B and B > C that A > C. However the inference requires that B flow to the client which may not always be the case, especially in WSUS scenarios where the Admin might not have approved B. Therefore, transitive relationships must be explicitly declared in the top level update - A's supersedence list should have both B and C. An example of transitive supersedence would be:
    • update A applies to both windows XP and windows 2003 server;
    • update B applies to windows XP;
    • update C applies to both Windows XP and windows 2003 server.
    • When authoring the supersedence for A: both B and C needs to be in the superseded list, otherwise on a Windows 2003 server, both A and C will be listed as applicable and client will fail when trying to install both.
  • No long chain of superseded updates. Recommend at most 3 in the superseded chain.

For Service Packs:
  • List all superseded updates.
  • Do not expire the superseded updates until the SP becomes the new servicing baseline. Customers may not be able to install the SP for several reasons - bandwith, throttling, policy etc. Expiring the superseded updates will leave such customers vulnerable.

For Definition updates:
  • Communicate to WSUS Admins to automatically approve definition updates belonging to your product.
  • N-3: Expire all old updates that are older than 3 versions
  • Keep only the directly superseded updates in the superseding update's list (ie the last 3 versions).
  • Remove updates from level 4 onwards (all of which are expired) from the superseded update list: for example, E > D > C > B > A
    • When E is published, expire A and remove it from the superseded list of E
    • E should still contain D, C & B in its superseded list.

Last edited Aug 10, 2009 at 6:42 PM by rhearn, version 1


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