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Windows Server 2008 SP2 Switching to Monthly Updates

Starting in September, users of Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) will receive their updates via a monthly rollup patch release.

The model change, which Microsoft announced this week, will mean that IT pros won't be able to simply delete a problematic individual patch when things go wrong. Instead, they'll have to roll back Windows Server 2008 SP2 to the previous month's patch state if a problem can't be resolved.

Microsoft first began this monthly rollup patch model with Windows 10. Later, it extended this model to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft's argument for it back then was that systems that aren't fully patched just end up becoming problems later. Under the update rollup model, the patch releases are "cumulative," meaning that they contain past updates along with the new ones. This aspect makes them a bit bulkier.

Deleting an individual problematic patch likely had been a trusty IT pro response over the years. Instead, Microsoft urged organizations to stay fully patched and work things out with independent software vendors, and to roll back to the previous month's patch state in the meantime.

Now Microsoft will institute that rollup patch model for Windows Server 2008 SP2, a product that's still supported until Jan. 14, 2020.

The monthly rollups for Windows Server 2008 SP2 will typically arrive on "update Tuesdays," or the second Tuesday of each month. As with other monthly Windows system update releases, Microsoft will deliver two updates types. The "quality update" includes security and reliability patches. The "security-only update" just includes security fixes.

Also arriving on update Tuesdays will be .NET Framework monthly updates. These updates will patch the underlying .NET Framework that's installed. It won't advance it to the next version, though. The .NET Framework monthly patches arrive via "Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services and Microsoft Update Catalog," according to a description.

On the third Tuesday of each month, Microsoft will issue a preview of the next month's quality update for Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Microsoft plans to kick off this rollup patch model for Windows Server 2008 SP2 in September, namely on Sept. 11, which will be the second Tuesday of that month. In August, specifically Aug. 14, the first preview of September's quality rollup will arrive.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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