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I want to setup a central system (server) which will directly update windows from the internet. The other (client) systems will connect to the central system (server) and update their copy of windows installation.

Moreover there are certain softwares which downloads a thin client during installation and then the client installs the entire software online. I want that all (client) systems in the network connect to the central system (server) to get the downloaded files and continue to install in their own system.

Can anyone please suggest how do I proceed in such situation ?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The first part of your question, having a local update repository, is easy enough, and done with Windows Server Update Services. Search microsoft.com for details.

The second part is much harder. First, check with the supplier of the software if they support a local repository.

If they don't, it's going to be hard to do. You can intercept the network calls to their servers, but faking their server may be difficult and might not even be legal.

You could look at a network level cacheing solution, where the first person to install the software has to pull it over the internet but subsequent people get it from the cache.

Or you can look at image based deployment tools like Microsoft System Centre where you build a first machine with everything on it, make a copy of the disk, and then use that to set up new machines.

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System Center is similar to Windows Deployment Services? –  tombull89 Sep 16 '10 at 10:40
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In the first point, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is probably what you're after, although this is one hell of a thing to set up. It will control all updates going out to the network.

In the second point I have no experience so cannot comment.

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First question: you got the right answer already (WSUS)

Second question: it depends a bit on how your thin client is distributed. If it's an MSI file, then you can stick it into the AD GPO for your users and it will be deployed on all machines. details will depends on what version of Windows you're running (both AD and on the clients).

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