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Why can't WSUS 3.0 SP2 be installed on Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

    Question

  • I just installed the Windows Server 2012 Essentials beta, that's a mouthful and a lot to type each time I reference it so I'm calling it  WSE 2012, it's just easier.

    I realize there are a few limits to WSE 2012, like the 25 user limit, and a few other features.  I was playing with adding new server roles and noticed the Hyper-V role isn't there.  That makes sense, it wouldn't be a good idea to run VMs on top of WSE 2012.  I noticed that that management tools for Direct Access aren't there.  Too bad, I was hoping to test it out but I realize this is more an of enterprise feature.  Well it was, now that it can be done with a single NIC I think it will be much easier to use for small businesses too.  Hopefully if a customer chooses to upgrade and remove the specific WSE 2012 limits, Direct Access will be allowed.

    One role I was VERY surprised to see missing was the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) role.  I thought okay, no big deal I'll just download and install WSUS 3.0 SP2 on my own.  I fired up the install and it was blocked saying the program has compatibility issues and to "click here" to get more help online.  Well clicking the button did nothing.  I'm very curious why WSUS isn't included as a role and what this incompatibility issue is.  WSUS 3.0 runs just fine on Server 2012 Standard, and the role shows up along with other roles in server manager.  I manually installed the .Net 3.5 framework on WSE 2012 to see if that was blocking the WSUS install somehow and then tried my WSUS install again but the result was the same.  Very curious indeed.

    Why is installing WSUS blocked?

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 12:32 AM

Answers

All replies

  • I don't have a definitive answer for you at this point and hopefully
    someone from the product team can reply.
    But you will notice also that there are no group policies in place..at
    all...for WES2012, like we had with SBS.
     
    On the Home Screen of the dashboard, the first item is to activate use
    of Microsoft update, so it would appear that the intent is for every
    machine, including the Server, to self update.
     I'll try to get a better answer if I can
     

    Cris Hanna, Microsoft SBS MVP, Owner-CPU Services, Belleville, IL
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 12:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Cris!  I noticed the lack of GPOs too but SBSE 2011 was like that too from what I recall so that didn't surprise me.  I've only done one SBSE 2011 setup for a customer (I always used SBS Standard for most of my customers) and I was able to export some of the SBS 2011 Standard GPOs and import them into Essentials.  I like how SBS 2011 Standard had a lot of WMI rules to open firewall ports and stuff like that in the GPOs.  Nothing I would want to setup manually.  I don't understand why these GPOs were pulled from the Essentials product line.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 1:02 AM
  • Thursday, July 12, 2012 1:54 AM
  • Direct access is there.  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj204618

    Cool, thanks for the link!  It's weird that so many steps are necessary on Essentials when on 2012 Standard it only takes about three clicks.  I wonder if the usual scripts they use would conflict with some of the preset Essentials features.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 2:03 AM
  • I did hear back from the MS team and they are investigating..
    Not sure if it was tested previously or they just not had a
    problem...will let you know what I hear back
     

    Cris Hanna, Microsoft SBS MVP, Owner-CPU Services, Belleville, IL
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:14 AM
    Moderator
  • WSUS role is not available on Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Please refer to following document for the server roles supported in different Windows Server 2012 Editions.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/B/04BD0EB1-42FE-488B-919F-3981EF9B2101/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_Datasheet.pdf

    The Essentials Server's management dashboard optimized the admin tasks for small/home business, if you go to server settings tab, you will see the Windows Update (as well as Microsoft update) configuration page. By default, all "important" and "recommended" updates are installed. Based on previous feedback, this simplified default settings fits most of the needs for customer. However you can still customize it if needed.

    Thank You.


    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights. Ning Kuang[MSFT] Windows Server Program Manager





    Friday, July 13, 2012 3:20 PM
    Owner
  • I have to share my thoughts on this.  I appreciate your reply and realize you are not responsible for pulling this from the product but please share this with your management team. 

    It was a mistake to pull WSUS / block the manual install of WSUS from the Windows Server 2012 Essentials product.  If you didn't want to have a listing for it in the management dashboard that's fine, but blocking the role or manual install doesn't make sense.  You expect customers to already use up a lot of bandwidth using Office 365 for email with this solution.  Having a central repository for updates would have helped out with slow Internet links, bandwidth caps, and it just makes sense.  Why have 10, 15, 20, or 25 PCs all hitting the internet and downloading the same updates when they could be downloaded once with WSUS and then distributed out to the PCs from a central location.  Easy, simple management is fine...I get that.  Not having WSUS installed by default would have been fine but blocking administrators that actually know what they are doing from installing WSUS doesn't make sense.  I have clients and I manage all of their networks for them.  In less than 30 minutes I would have been able to install WSUS and setup a simple group policy to distribute the updates to the entire network using the regular WSUS management console.  I don't need a wizard to do everything for me.

    Friday, July 13, 2012 3:41 PM
  • I fully agree with Active IT that though the decision to not include WSUS as a default component _may_ be justified implementation should not be blocked.

    Tom, my carpenter mate, has 5 PCs. The wife and he use one 'general use' machine in the house, each of 3 kids have their own PC but mainly used for schoolwork and also use the 'main' PC, and then there's Tom PC in the Office (also known as The Dungeon, under the house). Add a central device for media storage and backup, and I think they also have an X-Box. A few of the 'problems' I've been asked to look at on this 'home' network (SOHO?) have been resolved to the simple act of updating the PCs.

    Friday, July 13, 2012 7:14 PM
  • Short reply: That is nonsens! It´s the same nonsens as with Windows Intune not supporting Servers.

    SMB need centralized patch management, too, when they have a AD network with several WS, whether combined with cloud services or on premise.

    Server roles are not installed by default, so keep clients the ability to choose if they want your simplicity or a more professional solution, especially when they decide to work with partners for managing their IT.

    Regards from Germany & good night,

    Rolf

     


    NIERO@net e.K. (Hamburg, Germany)

    Friday, July 13, 2012 8:20 PM
  • So Windows Server 2012 Essentials is locked down, I'm guessing to encourage users to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 to get roles/features such as WSUS and de-duplication etc.

    Coming from a WHS background this is now becoming extremely expensive (I basically want the dashboard - ease of use for shares/users, streaming and backup - together with WSUS, de-dupe and possibly Hyper-V).  I can see that I'd need to buy Essentials (to get the dashboard, backup & streaming) and then pay for the in-place upgrade to retain that and get the other roles/features I would like.

    Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:28 AM
  • I fully agree with Active IT that though the decision to not include WSUS as a default component _may_ be justified implementation should not be blocked.

    Tom, my carpenter mate, has 5 PCs. The wife and he use one 'general use' machine in the house, each of 3 kids have their own PC but mainly used for schoolwork and also use the 'main' PC, and then there's Tom PC in the Office (also known as The Dungeon, under the house). Add a central device for media storage and backup, and I think they also have an X-Box. A few of the 'problems' I've been asked to look at on this 'home' network (SOHO?) have been resolved to the simple act of updating the PCs.


    Yes, I agree as well. This is a bad descision.

    Michael Jenkin (Mickyj) www.mickyj.com (Community website) - SBS MVP (2004 - 2008) *5 times Microsoft MVP award winner *Previously MacWorld Australia contributer *Previously APAC Vice Chairman Culminis (Pro IT User group support system)* APAC chairman GITCA *Director Business Technology Partners, Microsoft Small Business Specialist, SMB150 2012 Member

    Monday, July 16, 2012 9:06 AM
  • Short reply: That is nonsens! It´s the same nonsens as with Windows Intune not supporting Servers.

    SMB need centralized patch management, too, when they have a AD network with several WS, whether combined with cloud services or on premise.

    Server roles are not installed by default, so keep clients the ability to choose if they want your simplicity or a more professional solution, especially when they decide to work with partners for managing their IT.

    Regards from Germany & good night,

    Rolf


    NIERO@net e.K. (Hamburg, Germany)

    I full agree with you and the other, that this decision to strip down WSE2012 is nonsens. This is completely not understandeble for me and my business partners!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:21 PM
  • Microsoft has very little understanding of how the SMB market space operates.  Pulling WSUS from Server 2012 Essentials is shortsighted.

    Clearly, the reason SBS was pulled from the market was that Microsoft is selling far, far fewer Office 365 subscriptions into SMB than they had budgeted for.  So pulling SBS, with its integrated Exchange, will force people to move to Office 365.  What it will do is force us to look at Exchange alternatives for our many SMB clients who still don't want to move to the cloud, and Kerio Connect will be our mail server of choice for SMB clients who need on-premises mail/contacts/calendars.  And Kerio Connect seems to work well as an Exchange replacement for the SMB market space.

    Pulling WSUS from Server 2012 Essentials was likely designed to "encourage" SMB clients to take up Microsoft's $15/PC/month Windows Intune subscription.  Well, we use Labtech for our clients which allows us to set up global groups into which we can assign various client computers, enabling us to update each group on the schedule we choose across all of our clients.  Losing the on-premises single-downloading and caching functionality of WSUS will only result in our clients using more of their unreliable and expensive Internet bandwidth - whether they use Intune or any other solution.  So I don't see any real benefit in having them spend $15/PC/month to get partial download management when Labtech offers all Intune does and more (and cheaper) except the "Windows Enterprise" bit, which really is a monopoly using their weight in one area to try and take over another area.

    Now, for SMBs who aren't working with an IT consultant who uses a good RMM tool, Intune itself is a decent way to enhance the management of their networks.  It just isn't appropriate nor cost effective for our clients.

    Removing WSUS is simply a shortsighted move on Microsoft's part.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 12:48 AM
  • Ning - this decision is confusing.

    I downloaded the PDF you mentioned on the day that the product was announced.  It shows WSUS as supported.

    However when I download the PDF now, it shows that it's not supported.  Why did Microsoft remove support for this? I'm more than happy to email you the original PDF so that you can verify it's authenticity.

    This decision to not support WSUS needs to be reversed.  It's short sighted and very US centric to think that 25 user networks do not need a central patch managment strategy.


    Wayne Small

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:07 AM
  • Hi, Everyone,

    Thank you for the feedbacks. Can you log a formal suggestion to the Windows Server Connect Site?

    It will be great if you could outline the cusotmer scenarios with your existing cusotmer's experiences, we will collect further information and get back to the forum.

    Thank You.


    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights. Ning Kuang[MSFT] Windows Server Program Manager

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:55 AM
    Owner
  • Ning, though I believe Wayne does have access to that page mot of the rest of us don't.

    Is there any plan to open 'connect' to public NOW that we actually have a Public Beta?

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:01 AM
  • There is an "Implement Group Policy" link on Dashboard Devices page, which creates policies (e.g., folder redirection, security settings) for all the domain joined clients.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:37 AM
  • That's FINE, but with WSUS not supported for installation on the server, just where do we put it?
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:47 AM
  • What Mick said.  Only some of us have access to connect to post bugs.
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:20 AM
  •  We are working on it.

     Thanks.


    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights. Ning Kuang[MSFT] Windows Server Program Manager

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:03 AM
    Owner
  • I hate to suggest it but the process seems a bit 'backward' to me.

    In a perfect world the process of lodging bugs would have been set up _before_ the beta was released.

    maybe even in an imperfect world.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:27 AM
  • WSUS role is not available on Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

    So not only does WHS2011 go away completely, in favor of a next-best product called Essentials that is 10x more expensive, but WSUS can't be installed to it? That another 10x price jump is needed to get functionality I've needed-and-used in WHS?

    Yes, I know WSUS is not "supported" under WHS, but to not have it available at all for SOHO use is appalling.

    Saturday, July 21, 2012 5:05 PM
  • Hi, All,

    The feedbacks are under investigation. I will update this thread once we have more progress.

    Thank You.


    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights. Ning Kuang[MSFT] Windows Server Program Manager

    Monday, July 23, 2012 3:30 AM
    Owner
  • I like how SBS 2011 Standard had a lot of WMI rules to open firewall ports and stuff like that in the GPOs.  Nothing I would want to setup manually.  I don't understand why these GPOs were pulled from the Essentials product line.
    There are some GPOs also in 2012 Essentials, look in Group Policy Management - yourForest - Domains - yourDomain - Starter GPOs...
    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:19 PM
  • Hi, Everyone,

    Thank you for the feedbacks. Can you log a formal suggestion to the Windows Server Connect Site?

    I would love to, except I get this when I follow your link (and I'm logged in):  "The content that you requested cannot be found or you do not have permission to view it."

    Add me to the chorus of this makes no sense and seems arbitrary and stupid.  I'd assume Microsoft would want to make it as easy as possible for people to keep their machines patched, and if we can use Microsoft technology to dramatically reduce the amount of bandwidth required from Microsoft they would be even more enthusiastic about supporting that.  I have several small business and non-profit networks I support where the bulk of the machines do not have Internet access.  The computers are used to run applications to support the business, but do not need Internet access - WSUS is perfect for ensuring the machines in this environment are fully patched and up to date.  Yes, I can implement proxy/firewall fixes so the machines can only get updates over the web, but as others pointed out the amount of traffic for the Internet connection increases dramatically.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012 8:17 PM
  • Hi, Everyone,

    Thank you for the feedbacks. Can you log a formal suggestion to the Windows Server Connect Site?

    I would love to, except I get this when I follow your link (and I'm logged in):  "The content that you requested cannot be found or you do not have permission to view it."

    Add me to the chorus of this makes no sense and seems arbitrary and stupid.  I'd assume Microsoft would want to make it as easy as possible for people to keep their machines patched, and if we can use Microsoft technology to dramatically reduce the amount of bandwidth required from Microsoft they would be even more enthusiastic about supporting that.  I have several small business and non-profit networks I support where the bulk of the machines do not have Internet access.  The computers are used to run applications to support the business, but do not need Internet access - WSUS is perfect for ensuring the machines in this environment are fully patched and up to date.  Yes, I can implement proxy/firewall fixes so the machines can only get updates over the web, but as others pointed out the amount of traffic for the Internet connection increases dramatically.


    Try this link instead.  Note that you have to join the program in Connect called "Windows Server 2012 Essentials Pre-Release Feedback Site".
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:48 PM
    Moderator
  • So has this changed with the release version or is it still blocked?
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:45 PM
  • It will be changed with an update rollup.
    • Proposed as answer by johnflorin Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:12 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:47 PM
  • It will be changed with an update rollup.
    Thanks Susan - I'll keep an eye out for it!
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:32 PM
  • only _maybe_ a correction to Susan's comment (Susan may indeed know more than I)...

    Rather than an update to WS12E it _may_ make more sense to release WSUS as an Add-In. If it is released in this manner it may be considered 'more optional' than if released as an 'update'. This would allow those who wish to use it to do so, and those who don't to ignore WSUS.

    We may even get 'alternative methods to implement WSUS' with an Add-In released by MS being one alternative and Add-Ins released by 3rd party being another. I would actually consider this to be a _far superior alternative_  to 'WSUS as part of WS12E', but that's just my opinion.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:02 AM
  • I know for sure they said they'd fix it in a rollup.  We bugged for a plug in.  Sure about the first for a resolution, not so sure about the second.
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:28 AM
  • That rollup can't come soon enough, really need this in essentials.

    6x PC's and a crap internet connection, I can't be wasting my bandwidth to download 6x the updates.

    WSUS is so easy to administer I don't know why they removed it.

    Friday, December 14, 2012 11:23 AM
  • I'm holding off on upgrading two sites from WHS and no server to Essentials until this is resolved.  It's completely idiotic that it was blocked in the first place and I'm not moving my sites to Essentials until this "roll up" actually appears.
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:19 AM
  • It's completely idiotic that it was blocked in the first place and I'm not moving my sites to Essentials until this "roll up" actually appears.
    What he said! I "only" have 15 workstations, used by people who NEVER would update on their own. WSUS is the only way I can ensure updates get installed.
    Monday, December 31, 2012 6:53 PM
  • Keep the faith, it's in the works and will be soon.
    Monday, December 31, 2012 7:19 PM
  • Thanks Susan - it would be nice if there was a timeline so I know how long to try to stall people for.  Microsoft's recent hostility towards small businesses has caused several conversations I never imagined I would be having; being directed to look at alternative technologies - with Apple being at the top of the list.  You can scoff as to the viability of that all you want - what I find interesting is this is from people who a year ago would never have even considered looking elsewhere.  Loss of mind share is huge and Microsoft is vulnerable like they never have been before...
    Wednesday, January 23, 2013 5:58 PM
  • It's in beta testing as I write this, so it should be out shortly.

    I hear ya.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:10 PM
  • Good Morning,

    I think this Hotfix is our long-awaited Solution:

    KB2762663 - You cannot enable the Windows Server Update Services role in Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Greetings,

    Rolf


    Rolf Niedhorn - NIERO@net e.K. (Hamburg, Germany)

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:56 AM
  • Awesome - thank you for posting this Rolf!  

    And to think I just randomly decided to check on this today - perfect timing!

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:35 PM
  • You cannot enable the Windows Server Update Services role in Windows
    Server 2012 Essentials:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2762663

    Install the hotfix in that KB, then you can install WSUS.

    • Edited by Susan BradleyMVP Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:12 AM
    • Proposed as answer by E Eskam Friday, March 01, 2013 12:52 PM
    Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:11 AM
  • Is there a particular way to install this hotfix (standing on one leg..?!). I get errors in event viewer after installing this (something like: windows update could not be installed because of error 2359302), and WSUS SP2 still will not install..

    ....however when I uninstall it using the powershell cmd from the hotfix readme there are no errors.

    • Edited by marky9074 Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:01 AM
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:56 AM
  • Can you post up the full error/event item please?

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:10 PM
  • Apologies! I did it on the command line (rather than running the msu directly) and it seemed to work OK.. (my ignorance I guess!)

    wusa.exe Windows8-RT-KB2762663-x64.msu /quiet /norestart


    • Edited by marky9074 Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:53 AM
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:52 AM
  • Spoke too soon.. whilst I do not have any hotfix errors in the event viewer now, I still cannot install WSUS 3.0 SP2 with it returning:

    The application (Windows Server Update Services, from vendor Microsoft) was hard-blocked and raised the following: Windows Server Update Services is incompatible with this version of Windows. For more information, contact Microsoft.

    I've done a reboot of the server and still the same :/

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:43 AM
  • How are you installing this?  Are you installing the role from inside the server?
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:48 PM
  • Hi Susan,

    No, I downloaded and tried to install manually as I couldn't find it as a role when I looked previously.

    ...oh I see it is there now as a role. Looks like it is installing fine now. Thanks for the pointer.


    • Edited by marky9074 Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:15 PM
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:07 PM
  • Anyone else having an issue getting WSUS to work even after the hotfix that has been released to allow the WSUS role to be installed?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserveressentials/thread/545a3e72-457a-4fe2-8b70-477c09121dd2


    Saturday, May 11, 2013 3:29 AM