Simplifying on-premises deployment of servicing stack updates
Published Sep 08 2020 01:25 PM 185K Views

Update 2021.02.09: On February 9, 2021, we released the February 2021 SSU for Windows 10, versions 1909, 1809, 1607 and 1507*. The February 2021 SSU will be a prerequisite for receiving the new one cumulative update (LCU and SSU packaged together) for these versions of Windows 10.

We are planning to switch over to the new combined package format for these earlier versions in the coming months. In the meantime, please broadly deploy the February 2021 SSU across your organization to take advantage of the upcoming capability.

Stay tuned for more information on when we’ll transition to the combined package format for these versions!

*An updated SSU is not currently available for Windows 10, versions 1607 and 1507.

We have heard your feedback and are taking action to provide a more seamless experience for those managing monthly updates on-premises.

To keep devices up to date, IT administrators who manage devices using on-premises methods must select and deploy the correct servicing stack update (SSU) with the latest cumulative update (LCU). In some cases, a specific version of the SSU must already be installed in order to install the latest LCU. If the device in question does not have the required SSU already installed, the LCU will fail to install.

This scenario can be confusing for two reasons. First, it doesn't occur every month. Second, the error message that the LCU failure can produce, "update isn't applicable," doesn't make the root cause immediately apparent. As a result, having an LCU fail to install can be confusing and frustrating for the end user and IT admin alike, but can also hurt security compliance.

With the Windows Update experience where the SSU and LCU are deployed together to the device, the update stack automatically orchestrates the installation, so both are applied correctly.

Our goal is for all IT administrators, whether managing devices on-premises or from the cloud, to experience the simplicity of having a single cumulative monthly update to deploy that includes the month’s cumulative fixes and the appropriate servicing stack updates for that month, if applicable.

Our upcoming changes will ensure that the SSU and LCU are provided together under a single payload to both Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Microsoft Catalog.

If you use management tools backed by WSUS, such as the Configuration Manager, you will have to select and deploy the monthly cumulative update. The latest SSU will automatically be applied correctly. If you acquire and apply Dynamic Update packages to existing Windows 10 images prior to deployment, the latest SSU will no longer be available as a separate package in the Microsoft Catalog. If your process requires the SSU, you’ll simply use the new combined SSU and LCU package.

Things you will no longer need to worry about

  • Searching for both the SSU and LCU KB articles. All release notes and file information for monthly cumulative updates, including those related to the servicing stack, will be in a single KB article!
  • Determining if this month's LCU has a dependency on a specific SSU version or newer and ensuring that the right SSU and LCU are deployed and installed in the correct order. The SSU and LCU will be packaged together, and the client will orchestrate the installation. Select the monthly cumulative update you want to deploy, and we will take care of the rest!
  • End users confused at seeing multiple servicing releases in a month. The Window Update Settings and History pages will now look the same as it does for those who update from the cloud today!

How to take advantage of these innovations

To move forward with receiving a single monthly cumulative update package containing the SSU and LCU, you will first need to broadly deploy the September 2020 SSU or any later SSU on all Windows 10, version 2004 devices in your organization.

While these changes are not yet live for any in-market version of Windows, we hope you are excited about what is coming. This announcement gives you plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming changes and deploy the September 2020 SSU and LCU broadly across your organization.

Keep an eye out over the next few months as we release more information!

Version history
Last update:
‎Feb 23 2021 08:17 PM
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