Home > Networking, Uganda, Windows > The beauty of Windows update server

The beauty of Windows update server

Uganda’s internet connectivity is known by Slow and expensive connections with less available bandwidth. Though this is expected to change with time due to the landing of the SEACOM cable in Kampala.

My experience in Uganda for the networks I have helped troubleshoot has helped me realize that Windows updates are little known and under looked by many administrators when it comes to troubleshooting slow links.

Most network administrators don’t have any kind of networking monitoring software and  this results to always complain to the ISP about slow links. In return ISP’s normally stand their ground that their is no problem on their side. Communicating back and forth and sometimes sharp words are exchanged between ISP Customer service and Clients.

You find an office with 256k running 10 clients and all of them are set to download updates automatically.
When they start, the link becomes unusable. I have met this challenge by setting up a windows update server. Then forcing clients to receive updates from the server only. Then I schedule the windows update server to download updates between 8pm and 6am. This seems to have worked well for many networks.

To force client to fetch updates from the server I use one of the two techniques:-

  • Use group policy to configure the intranet windows update server
    Group policy editor -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update -> Specify Intranet Microsoft Update Service Location
  • Use a registry file with the contents below:-
    If you server name is WSUSGRID, then the registry file content would be


    Save the contents in a file with extension .reg and double click file, the settings will be automatically applied.

The next time the computer boots, it will be fetching windows updates from the server.

For monitoring a network, nagios (OpenNMS is a good alternative) + ntop + lightsquid are my favourite.

Categories: Networking, Uganda, Windows
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