Appendix D: Configure WSUS for Roaming Clients

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server Update Services

If there are many roaming WSUS clients on your network, who often log on to your network from different locations, you may want to configure WSUS so that these computers always get their updates from the nearest WSUS server. This procedure presupposes that you have several different DNS subnets in your network, and that you want to install WSUS servers in the subnets.

Step 1: Identify the servers to use as WSUS servers

Identify one server in each of the subnets that you plan to use as a WSUS server. Keep a record of their IP addresses.

Step 2: Set up the host names on the DNS server

Set up as many DNS host (A) resource records as there are planned WSUS servers.

To set up the host names on the DNS server

  1. Launch the DNS console.

  2. Click Action, and then click New Host (A).

  3. In the New Host dialog box, type the server name (for example, WSUSServer) in the Name box.

  4. Type the appropriate IP address in the IP address box.

  5. Click Add Host.

  6. Repeat this procedure for the rest of the planned WSUS servers.


Make sure that each of the planned WSUS servers has the same host name.

Step 3: Set up the DNS server for netmask ordering and round robin

To set up netmask ordering and round robin on the DNS server

  1. In the DNS console, right-click the DNS server node, click Properties, and then click the Advanced tab.

  2. In the Server options box, select the Enable round robin and Enable netmask ordering check boxes.

  3. Click OK.


With netmask ordering, you restrict name resolution to computers in the same subnet, if there are any. With round robin, if there are multiple name resolutions, the result that is returned will rotate through the list of available hosts. Therefore, if there is a subnet without a WSUS server, host name resolution for clients in that subnet will rotate through the list of WSUS servers in the other subnets.

Step 4: Configure the WSUS servers

Set up and configure the WSUS servers in the different subnets. See Install the WSUS 3.0 Server for details.

Step 5: Configure WSUS clients to use the same host name

When you set up WSUS client computers (see Update and Configure the Automatic Updates Client), make sure to use the same host name you have set up as the WSUS server.