Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) provides a nominal amount of reporting information in its native console. This information is primarily related to the updates on the WSUS server and the clients that report to it. More precisely, the information you get from WSUS about its managed clients is limited to their patch compliance and specific data about their synchronization history and status. Basically, Microsoft WSUS provides three types of reports:
- Update Reports
- Computer Reports
- Synchronization Reports
One thing users have noticed about these reports is that the Computer Reports are limited to update statuses for a specific computer or group of computers. That is, they lack any information about the computers' hardware or other attributes. This is not to say, however, that WSUS doesn't collect that information. The WSUS database (SUSDB) contains much more information about its managed clients than it actually displays. In order to access this information, you must either query the database directly (which Microsoft does not support), or purchase a product that uses the WSUS API to collect and parse the information.
Extending Microsoft WSUS for Detailed Reporting
There are currently two products on the market that extend the reporting functionality of Microsoft WSUS:
With these extensions of Microsoft WSUS, you get the following information in addition to the update-related information provided in the standard WSUS console:
- BIOS version
- Operating System (OS)
- OS language
- OS service pack
- IP address
- Network adapters
- Sound card
- Video card
This significantly improves the reporting capabilities of your WSUS servers, thus improving your WSUS patch management. Furthermore, with Patch Manager, you get perfect patch management and the added capability to do the same update-level reporting on third-party updates. So, you can check the update statuses on your managed clients even if you're patching Google Chrome. WSUS patching, simplified!
But Patch Manager, the ideal patch management solution doesn't just supplement your WSUS reporting with canned reports. Patch Manager displays the information it gets from WSUS in several customizable views, which can show you both the update statuses on individual computers, and the computer statuses for individual updates. Add this to the extended reporting functionality discussed above, and you have a flexible, 360-degree view of everything you'll ever want to know about the computers in your publishing environment.