Note: Limiting the load on the SUS server or the network via the options described here will result in it taking longer for all the Windows XP systems to be updated, because the bottleneck is the server load.The guidance provided below for each option is based on the same server load assumption, so it should take approximately the same length of time to deploy Windows XP SP2 irrespective of the option implemented.If your SUS server machines is running additional services or the available network capacity is less than the server network card capacity, you will need to adjust this guidance to reflect your situation.There are essentially three options, depending on the number of Windows XP systems to be updated using your SUS server (if you have one or a few SUS servers) and the topology of your SUS implementation (if you have many SUS servers): For the first (no action necessary) option, it is recommended that the SUS administrator monitor the server load when the update is first approved and for the first hour of the work day or first work shift after the Windows XP SP2 update has been approved.The following section details considerations for deploying Windows XP SP2 using SUS.Note: SUS is available as a free download to customers with a Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server license and can be downloaded from This technique relies on the SUS administrator to approve and then un-approve the Windows XP SP2 update on the SUS server on a daily basis, until the number of Windows XP systems that have not received the SP2 update is less than 2000.
SUS administrators can use the following formula to calculate the amount of time for which to approve the Windows XP SP2 update on each day: TA = Amount of time (in hours) the update needs to be marked as ‘approved’ on a given day NXP = Number of Windows XP systems to get SP2 via the SUS server NDE = Number of days since SP2 was first marked as approved on the SUS server For example, if there are 12000 Windows XP systems that need to get the Windows XP SP2 update via a SUS server, the calculation would work out as follows: For day 1, the update would need to be marked as approved for 2 hours, since Note: An important consideration for using this technique is to initiate the approval about 1 hour after the work day or shift starts, so the SUS server is not impacted by the spike in clients trying to download SP2 soon after they are turned on.
The following section provides guidance to prevent this situation from occurring.
The following guidance is provided for the minimum SUS server configuration – Intel P700 system with 512MB RAM and a 100 Mbps network card and network connection, which is dedicated to running the SUS server (no domain controller, etc.) and is on a network where the available bandwidth exceeds the bandwidth capacity of the server’s network card.
For example, if the maximum bandwidth you want used on the SUS server (or the network overall) to deploy Windows XP SP2 using SUS is 100 Mbps and there are 5000 Windows XP systems on the network, setting the maximum bandwidth usage to 20 Kbps on each client system will limit overall network bandwidth to 100 Mbps.
Pros: Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms, and Microsoft strongly recommends that customers update their Windows XP machines with SP2 as soon as possible.
Note: This configuration will allow about 2000 Windows XP systems to download and install the Windows XP SP2 update per day and will take approximately one hour for each to download, assuming there are no other connectivity bottlenecks.