WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)

WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). In this article I introduce you to the two software’s. One thing that can be said about them is that they have their key tasks in the functioning of today’s devices in the computer environment.  On one hand we have WSUS, that plans, manages, and deploys updates. It also allows you to control when and at what time updates are downloaded to your computer. On the other hand, we have SCCM, which is also a Microsoft product, it is mainly developed to manage and update software.

In this article, I explain the two solutions and compare these two Microsoft software’s. At the beginning, I will talk about what they are and we will find out how they work. In the later part, there is features and benefits presented along with their pros and cons. In the last part, we learn the differences between those two.

Shall we start with WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). Let us start.

What is WSUS ?

Generally WSUS, shortened from Windows Server Update Service, is a distribution program. Also, it permits the Windows Update carrier from Microsoft to execute fixes, replace drives, replace capabilities, and make certain well timed releases of different capabilities on Windows Servers.

However, in contrast to the automatic method of Microsoft Updates in Windows, you may use WSUS to execute and control those updates on numerous computer systems and profiles. In different words, it could be controllable via way of means of the server pc to distribute stated updates on customer computer systems.

So, assume you`re the use of the primary pc inside an organization. In that case, you could distribute the updates acquired from Microsoft via your device. This lets in you to manipulate your IT community with out dropping extra bandwidth and offer updates on your pc.

How Does WSUS Work ?

Firstly, WSUS or Windows Server Update Services is pre set up in any Windows Server. One can get entry to it via way of means of searching out Microsoft Windows Server Manager on their device. Once you decide the server position for a selected computer, the machine lets in it to take the administrator position.

After that, the opposite phase takes the customer role, that is commonly different organizational computer systems. Now, it comes right all the way down to the dimensions of the IT community and computer systems used inside that web.

Also, given the admin role, it is more than an open server running alongside. WSUS requirements include:

  • Microsoft Report Viewer.
  • Internet information services or IIS.
  • Windows internal database (WID) or SQL.

Basically, it comes with most versions of Windows Server, so you don’t need to buy it separately. However, after the server is deployed on the network, the administrator must configure Group Policy to install it on client systems.

Moreover, user administrators  then are able to provide offline or clone updates to the computer. Also, client computers do not require an active internet connection to receive updates from the server as long as they are connected to the same network.

It is time with WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? to find out the benefits of WSUS.

Follow this article blog about WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? to learn more about WSUS benefits next.

Benefits of using WSUS

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  • Scans systems for missing updates, giving you more control over the update process and targeting only those systems that require updates.
  • Provides advanced status reporting capabilities. WSUS provides a series of valuable reports that allow administrators to easily identify key system health indicators and update deployment metrics.
  • Optimized the underlying network infrastructure by leveraging core Windows technologies such as the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). 
  • Has the ability to scan your system for missing updates, giving you more control over the update process and targeting only those systems that require updates.
  • All Microsoft products (mainly Windows, Office, Exchange and SQL) can be updated.

Pros of WSUS

Cost of WSUS

It is a free tool that installs as a role on Windows Server. Technically, businesses of all sizes take advantage of this feature. For small businesses that cannot use Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM), WSUS offers several free patching options.

WSUS Works with Windows Systems

Because WSUS was created by Microsoft, it works on Windows systems and solves problems when properly configured and maintained. Feature of update tracking, so that system administrators determine which updates have been applied to each system if there is only a Microsoft infrastructure.

Downloading updates from Microsoft

  • You will specify which products and content types to use and download.
  • New updates are downloaded automatically or manually from Microsoft.


Generate reports of update status, synchronization results, and settings summary. In Groups, you specify groups of computers to receive reports.

Cons of WSUS

WSUS doesn’t work with mixed OS environments

WSUS is essentially a Windows only solution, which limits its usefulness as the infrastructure increasingly includes non Windows operating systems.

Lack of adequate reporting

As the cost of attacks increases and regulatory compliance becomes more stringent, access to infrastructure becomes increasingly important. Because software can’t provide sufficient reporting of network vulnerabilities, so system administrators need to collectively revise reviews of multiple assets and hope everything is accounted for. This loss of responsibility leads to unpatched vulnerabilities being ignored and audit failures.

Limited ability to patch third party applications

Third party software program together with Java, Chrome, and Adobe are famous objectives for hackers due to the fact they frequently comprise unpatched vulnerabilities. So, with WSUS works and allows patching those packages with complicated workarounds, but the catalogue of updates isn’t intuitive.

WSUS is difficult to set up and configure

The initial setup of it takes a long time. There are several system requirements that must be met prior to installation. Setting up your system to automatically check for and apply updates can be a time consuming and complex task. Also Software sometimes goes out of sync on certain computers, causing technicians to spend hours trying to identify and fix the root cause of the problem.

What is SCCM ?

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The second comparison tool of an article WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? is SCCM, which stands for System Center Configuration Manager. Hence, it is another management tool that enables organizations to manage and secure the devices and software in their environment. SCCM handles hardware inventory, software and patch distribution, and more. Therefore, when administrators speak of an SCCM server, they usually mean an environment composed of server hardware and software modules that together make up the SCCM architecture.

Short for System Center Configuration Manager, is a software management package provided by Microsoft that allows users to manage large numbers of Windows based computers. Also provides remote management, patch management, operating system deployment, network security, and many other services.

Additionally, users manage computers running Windows or macOS, servers running Linux or Unix, and even mobile devices running Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems. Moreover, SCCM is available from Microsoft and is available for a limited time. After the evaluation period expires, you must purchase a license to continue using it.

How does SCCM work ?

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The operating procedure is presented below:

  1. To install the application, create a package consisting of a command line and an executable file in the SCCM console.
  2. Configuration manager administrators create virtual application packages and replicate them to selected distribution points.
  3. When users want to download an application, they can download the application directly from the distribution point instead of contacting the main SCCM server.
  4. Now we will install the SCCM agent which helps the machine communicate with the SCCM server.
  5. At this point, the SCCM agent continues to check for new policies and deployments. Using updates, SCCM administrators create deployments where applications target multiple computers.
  6. When the policy reaches the target computer, the SCCM agent evaluates the policy and contacts a specific regional distribution point to download the package.
  7. After downloading the executable to a temporary folder, users can install these packages on their local system. The file status is now sent back to the SCCM server and updated in the database.

Benefits of SCCM

Safeguarding endpoints

Endpoint Protection uses the built in Windows update mechanism to regulate malware definitions. It also keeps client PCs up to date to ensure they are always safe with the latest protections.

Intelligence on assets

License administrators use asset analysis to track which programs are installed and where they are installed. The number of installed and applications used is also tracked. Software usage tracking also allows you to track licenses across your environment. This ensures the accuracy of counts when audited.

Boosted user productivity

This configuration manager provides access to the applications your employees need to stay productive. At the same time, it gives administrators the tools they need to protect critical business data.

Centralized IT infrastructure management

With Configuration Manager, you manage change and configuration, reduce maintenance tasks, improve help desk response times, and generate detailed, customizable reports that your organization can easily use to make important business decisions.

Pros of SCCM

  • Software delivery can be scheduled, allowing for periodic software updates, keeping users out of the loop. This removes the dependence of network and computer system and security on user actions.
  • Users must request to install software, reducing license consumption by users installing whatever is available when needed.
  • System administrators auto submit, so there’s no need to convince all users to install it.
  • SCCM software push notifications are compatible with highly secure computers such as Windows Vista.
  • No user action is required to install the software.
  • It is a very well rounded product. A complete package with all the features using which we are able to manage our PCs very efficiently.

Cons of SCCM

  • There is no immediate notification of an error during software installation until the user receives a pop up alert if there is a problem.
  • One area of improvement is regarding the patching of Office 365 products. We have some difficulties on this side, and it can be improved.
  • Silently pushes new applications that may be mistaken for viruses or malicious software by users.
  • If a software push goes wrong or a software installation version is flawed, all users are affected.
  • The solution is a bit heavy on the sources such as RAM or CPU and the software needs to be a bit lighter.
  • The TSM component could be improved.

WSUS vs SCCM Comparison

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The main difference between is that first one is a software update service that allows the administrators to manage updates released for Microsoft products while second one is a systems management software that allows managing a large number of computers running on various operating systems.

Asset management

SCCM supports asset management for automated task reporting and collection for system hardware and software data discovery. Alternatively, WSUS also supports asset management, but it only extends functionality to the WSUS API, which requires special add-ons to implement.

Software packaging

License management software (SCCM) handles the packages and programs used by Configuration Manager. Program and package deployments are more reliable than application deployments when used with predefined scripts and tools. 

Have a look below at SCCM scripts and tools:

  • Scripts that cannot use global evaluation have a scheduled frequent run.
  • Administrative tools that do not install an application on a system.
  • Scripts that do not need continuous monitoring.

Oppositely, WSUS extensions are required to support third party updates in WSUS.

Operating system deployment

License control software or SCCM helps you manage the agents already running on your systems by deploying a new, clean operating system. Operating system deployment is for upgrade plans only, not hard drives. A free tool used to deploy to WSUS is Windows Deployment Services (WDS), which supports OS deployment.

Patch management

License management software, such as SCCM, plays an important role in distributing updates and security patches on your network and managing Windows computers. Microsoft SCCM patch management is known for providing a set of endpoint protection tools for configuration updates and patches that serve as a lifecycle management system for IT teams dealing with large numbers of Windows systems

In nutshell, SCCM patches make it easier to implement other self deployment tools and graphical user interfaces. This gives you complete control over how patches are deployed and provides the functionality you want.

Microsoft WSUS Patch Management helps you install, purchase, and test patches on computers running WSUS. So, with WSUS patching is only available to companies that use Microsoft and provides clear network visibility, reporting, and third party patching.

Type of Management (System or Package)

Another important difference is that the license management software is SCCM and its main task is system management whereas WSUS is package management and remote management software.


Software, SCCM gives editions: Data Center version for dealing with digital customers and Standard version for dealing with bodily servers. The rate of the license relies upon on the chosen version.

Lastly, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a free tool that does not require a license.

Thank you for reading WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). We shall conclude. 

Use Cases

Important difference between SCCM is that it is best suited for larger organizations. More to add, SCCM is more applicable, when there is a requirement to manage more than one patch and ideal for remote control, protection of network access.

Contrarily, WSUS is picked by mainly small organizations as more affordable.  Big plus of WSUS is that it offers patching automation and there is no upfront costs.

WSUS vs SCCM – What’s the Difference ? Conclusion

Summarizing, both tools help the IT teams to do the most important tasks like keeping systems and software up to date with the latest patches. However, if we are faced with a choice between SCCM and WSUS? Which one shall we choose? Finally, SCCM aids in system management updates, but WSUS assists in updating the administrative tasks and packages. Lastly, the systems and software are kept up to date with both SCCM and WSUS. We hope the differences listed above helps you to choose the best solution.

If you have any questions with the both software’s come visit our website and check  out the WSUS blog over here. Thanks.

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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