Step 6: Create a Computer Group for Updates

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

Computer groups are an important part of WSUS deployments, even a basic deployment. Computer groups enable you to target updates to specific computers. There are two default computer groups: All Computers and Unassigned Computers. By default, when each client computer initially contacts the WSUS server, the server adds that client computer to each of these groups.

You can create custom computer groups. One benefit of creating computer groups is that they enable you to test updates before deploying updates widely. If testing goes well, you can roll out the updates to the All Computers group. There is no limit to the number of custom groups you can create.

To set up computer groups

  1. Specify how you are going to assign computers to the computer groups. There are two options: server-side targeting and client-side targeting. Server-side targeting involves manually adding each computer to its group by using WSUS. Client-side targeting involves automatically adding the clients by using either Group Policy or registry keys.

  2. Create the computer group on WSUS.

  3. Move the computers into groups by using the method you chose in step 1.

This section explains how to use server-side targeting and manually move computers to their groups by using the WSUS Administration console. If you have multiple client computers to assign to computer groups, you can use client-side targeting, which automates moving computers into computer groups.

You can use Step 6 to set up a test group that contains at least one test computer.

Step 6 contains the following procedures:

  • Create a group.

  • Add a computer to the group.

To create a group

  1. In the WSUS Administration console, expand Computers and select All Computers.

  2. Right-click All Computers, or go to the Actions pane and then click Add Computer Group.

  3. You will see an Add Computer Group dialog box. Specify the name of the new group.

Use the next procedure to assign a client computer to the test group. A client computer appropriate for testing is any computer with software and hardware indicative of the majority of computers on your network, but not a computer assigned to a critical role. In this way, you can tell how well computers like the test computer will fare with the updates you approve.

To add a computer to the group

  1. In the WSUS Administration console, click Computers.

  2. Click the group of the computer you want to move.

  3. In the list of computers, select the computer you want to move.

  4. Right-click Change Membership.

  5. You will see a dialog box, Set Computer Group Membership, with a list of groups.

  6. Check the group to which you want to move the computer, and then click OK.