Microsoft Turns Off SUS Downloads

The software giant stops offering the patch management tool for download, and not everyone is happy with the amount of time provided to switch to the newer version.

Less than a month after Microsoft Corp.s Windows Server Update Services enterprise patch-management platform was released to manufacturing, Microsoft has turned off downloads of the previous version.

Beginning Thursday, Microsoft will no longer be offering the predecessor SUS 1.0 (Software Update Services) for download, but some IT administrators are grumbling that the software giant did not provide adequate notice of the forced upgrade.

"If I have a SUS deployment in the works, Microsoft is now telling me that I must change right now. Microsoft is making the assumption that customers have fully deployed SUS 1.0 and have no further deployment plans. Theyre now making budgeting decisions for us," said one enterprise IT administrator with a high-profile company, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Actions taken in this manner leave many people to suspect some ulterior, possibly shady motives are involved. Will WSUS cost $10 per month starting July 2006?" he added.

According to Microsoft, SUS will be supported through June 6, 2006. After that date, no new update content will be delivered to that version of the platform.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here for eWEEK Labs take on WSUS RC 1.

Another information security engineer at a major university told Ziff Davis Internet News that Microsoft should have provided more notice of the forced upgrade plans. "Its not a question of not wanting the latest technology, but we dont want to be changing deployment plans every three months," he said.

"What we have today with SUS works very well, so its a bit of a headache to have to start deploying something new all over again. Even though its free, the added value [with the new WSUS] isnt really that distinguishable," the university administrator added.

Jason Leznek, senior product manager in Microsofts Windows and Enterprise Management division, argued that the company has been "strongly encouraging" users to download Windows Server Update Services in place of SUS 1.0 for the last year and a half, saying that it "should come as no surprise to customers."

In fact, Leznek said Microsoft has not seen any customer push back about the timing for the discontinuation of SUS since Windows Server Update Services has been much anticipated and will be superior in meeting customer needs.

He stressed that SUS will continue to be supported for another year for those who have already deployed it. Leznek said the company has provided clear guidance for migration in the WSUS deployment guide.

Leznek said Microsoft has seen the number of SUS downloads decrease drastically since WSUS shipped in early June. "There have been more WSUS downloads in the first month of release than SUSs downloads in its first year," he said.

" We have strong feedback from customers that they were deploying WSUS RC [Release Candidate] in production, so they didnt want to wait for the final code before they migrated from SUS. We also spoke with several ISVs who build products on top of SUS who plan on upgrading their solution to be built on top of WSUS, and they were overwhelmingly in support of doing so," Leznek said.

According to Microsoft, WSUS offers significant improvements over SUS with broader patching capabilities, simple patch targeting and bandwidth management, verification reporting and consistent engine scanning.

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