Several of the more technical folks among our customers have asked how SolarWinds Patch Manager communicates with Microsoft WSUS to publish update packages to the WSUS server. Since the process is similar regardless of what patch management tools you use to publish updates, I thought I'd write about it here.


The thing all the WSUS-based patch management products have in common is they all leverage the WSUS API to publish updates. The following outlines how Patch Manager, WSUS patch management completes this process:

  1. Patch Manager, patch management solution initiates the publishing task:
    1. It loads the update definition into the WSUS database.
    2. It compiles the update installer(s) in a cabinet (CAB) file.
    3. It creates the CAB file on the WSUS server in the ~\UpdateServicesPackages file share.
  2. WSUS simulates the "File Download" task:
    1. It renames the CAB file with a 40-character hexadecimal representation of the original CAB file's SHA-1 hash.
    2. It makes the CAB file available for download by copying it to the appropriate folder in the ~\WSUSContent file share.


For additional information about how Patch Manager, patch management software works, check out the Patch Manager Guided Tour.