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Conserve bandwidth during Windows patching

Learn three best practices you can do to to conserve bandwidth during patching.

What you will learn from this tip: Three best practices you can do to to conserve bandwidth during patching.

There are a number of things you can do to conserve bandwidth during peer-to-peer or most any patch management processes. Here are the three I recommend:

  • Schedule your patch distribution and installations

      This is probably the most common means of conserving bandwidth. Scheduling patches for distribution during off hours or non-peak times will ensure that critical business traffic is not adversely affected by patch installations.

  • Buy tools with the bandwidth features you need

Many patch management vendors build bandwidth conservation into their tools. For example, you may have the option to resume stalled installations or the ability to configure and limit bandwidth used. If you need to conserve bandwidth, investigate the options available with your patch management tool.

  • Place patch distribution repository near nodes to be updated

In general, you want to place the distribution servers close to the end nodes that are being updated. For example, if you have a number of remote offices, a common way of regulating bandwidth is to place a distribution server in each office. This way, the patch is only transferred to the remote office once, and the local distribution server then uses the local network to disseminate the patches. Careful configuration and design of the patch distribution servers is critical to bandwidth management.

More Information

  • Discover what all the fuss is about
  • Learn the key criteria you need to consider when purchasing a patch management solution to ensure it is effective.
  • View this on-demand webcast and learn how to overcome the challenges inherent to patch management

About the author
Jason Chan serves as a co-moderator for the mailing list, and he has written articles for publications such as SysAdmin Magazine and Computer Fraud and Security. He is a consulting services technical lead for Symantec Professional Services, where he also serves as technical leader for the Secure Infrastructure Center of Excellence. He is also a site expert on

This tip orginally appeared on

This was last published in June 2005

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