Insights

Windows Cumulative Updates: a Tidal Wave Is about to Hit Your WAN

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Just about every ConfigMgr/SCCM admin and their brother is talking about the new Windows 10 Cumulative Update (CU) model coming to Windows 7/8/8.1 in October. If you live in a cave and haven’t heard about it, or want the technical details, you can read about it here in TechNet. (Also, if you live in a cave, send me pictures, that sounds cool.)

Basically, instead of delivering Windows updates as individual patches, Microsoft will roll everything together in a single update each month. And each month’s update will be cumulative, including the previous month’s. While there will be some frustrations, such as the inability to back out of an individual patch/KB, many ConfigMgr admins welcome the change on grounds that it will make their life easier. They don’t have to worry about tracking a bunch of individual patches and managing different combinations of patching on different machines.

However, pretty much everybody agrees it brings one huge drawback: the file size will grow fast. Windows 10 CUs are at 1GB file size, and on pace to hit 2G in another year. Windows 7/8/8.1 CUs will face a similar large-file-size problem soon too. For the individual person at home downloading an update, it’s manageable. For a company that needs to get a 1GB+ file out to each of 100,000 computers every month, it’s a content distribution “challenge.”

Adaptiva OneSite™, the fastest way to distribute content across an enterprise with ConfigMgr, can help. Here’s how:

Speed up safely with worry-free network delivery

Predictive Bandwidth Harvesting is the only enterprise WAN content delivery technology that does not require down-throttling to a fraction of available bandwidth. Based on UDP, the packet-level driver keeps transfers alive on slow/poor remote connections where TCP/IP fails—and it never impacts other network traffic. So all your patches get to all your sites, regardless of network conditions.

Get Superefficient download de-duplication without servers

With peer-to-peer technology from Adaptiva, you can apply the CU patch to 1,000 or more machines at a location with only a single download over the WAN of say, 1GB, instead of 1TB if each machines downloaded the content itself! Redundant, high-availability storage makes sure the update never needs to be re-downloaded.

Save time and bandwidth with office-to-office transfer

When the current month’s CU is not available locally at an office, OneSite will get it from the nearest logical peer-to-peer storage point (office, factory, store, etc.) on the WAN. This is much more efficient than other systems, which have to go back to a DP server when content isn’t available at a location.

Automatically pre-stage each month’s updates to all relevant sites

The world’s most advanced pre-staging for ConfigMgr can push updates out automatically. Once you set up AutoStage, the update will be automatically pre-staged to all the locations that you have specified for monthly updates. The peer-to-peer storage is automatic with IntelliStage, selecting the best peers for storage based on uptime and capacity, and then maintaining multiple copies for high-availability.

Deliver to hundreds of machines without overloading a single “master.”

OneSite’s Memory Pipeline Architecture can deliver a huge package to hundreds of machines on a LAN almost instantly, at RAM speed. This is much faster than master/slave systems that have to serve everything from disk—and it prevents the unfortunate situation where a single user is bogged down by serving the data to many other systems. OneSite’s LAN delivery architecture is ultra-reliable too because if any system fails or goes offline, delivery to the others continues without pausing and without dropping a byte!

Stay calm, and weather the storm in comfort

These are just a few of the many capabilities that make OneSite the ideal way to handle the new Windows CU update model. For more information on how to solve your CU challenge with improved speed, outstanding business continuity, and low impact on users, visit insights.adaptiva.com/onesite.

Bill Bernat
Director of Product and Content Marketing, Adaptiva

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