SolarWinds Patch Manager provides an enhanced capability for creating Custom Update Views in the Patch Manager console.  We’re going to talk about three custom views that you may find helpful.

 

Third Party Updates

The first view is probably not new to you: Third Party Updates. KB3690 provides instructions on how to create this view. You may wish to refer to that knowledge base article for assistance in creating the next two views we will discuss.

 

Needed Updates

The second view that I’ve found useful is a dedicated view for Needed Updates. Using the guidance in KB3690:

  1. Select the “Updates have a specific approval and installation status” property.
  2. In the Updates View Filter dialog, set Approved State = “All”
  3. Set Update Status = “Needed”
  4. Assign the name “Needed Updates” to the view.

Now you can select “All Updates” or “Needed Updates” at will, with no additional query or refresh activity required to toggle between them.

 

Approved & Superseded Updates

The third view is a very important one. One of the critical WSUS administration tasks that should be performed on every WSUS server is update approval maintenance – specifically, removing approvals from superseded updates. I talked about why this is important in a PatchZone blog post series about WSUS Timeout Errors. In the WSUS console, finding superseded updates with approvals to be removed is somewhat of a tedious activity, but in the Patch Manager console, using the enhanced capabilities with custom update views, you can define a view that shows only the superseded updates that are approved and should have the approvals removed.

 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the task to create a new update view.
  2. Select the “Updates have a specific approval and installation status” property.
  3. Set Approved State = “Approved” and Update Status = “Installed/Not Applicable” and name the view “Approved Superseded Updates”, or something you like.
  4. Add the “Not Applicable Percentage” column to the view, and drag the “Not Applicable Percentage” and “Has Superseding Updates” columns to the left side of the view.
  5. Set the filter on “Has Superseding Updates” to only show updates with the value “Yes”.
  6. Set the filter on “Not Applicable Percentage” to only show updates with the value “100%’.
  7. Click on the “Save View Layout” to store this view state.

You now have a display showing the superseded updates, that are no longer needed by any system, and have approvals that should be removed. Select all of the updates and decline them.

Patch Manager Approved Superseded Updates.png

CAUTION: As discussed in the PatchZone blog post about WSUS timeout errors, if you have downstream servers you may need to be careful about the number of updates you process at one time. On a not-so-well-maintained server I recently worked on, there were 254 updates to be declined. That’s probably too many to process in a single task, because the downstream servers will need to replicate those changes. Keeping the limit to 100 per synchronization cycle should keep you out of trouble. You can also schedule the decline tasks to occur at a future time!

 

After removing the approvals you can run the Server Cleanup Wizard to remove the files associated with them. After declining the updates on the server with 254 updates, the Server Cleanup Wizard deleted almost 12GB of unneeded files.

DiskSpaceFreed.png

 

DamewareBlogCTA.png