A short note about using Windows Updates

by Dmitry Kirsanov 15. August 2013 16:00

The Perils of Playing Russian Roulette With Windows Updates

Let's talk about a high-stakes game that you may be unknowingly playing in your server room. It lurks under the innocuous name "automatic Windows updates", but if you've been in the trenches long enough, you know it better as Russian Roulette.

Windows Updates: A Necessary Evil

Ever second Tuesday of the month, our friends at Microsoft bequeath us a fresh batch of patches for Windows. These patches — necessary to keep our machines secure, efficient and bug-free — often require a restart to take effect. But not all of these 'restarts' are equal. You see, sometimes, during the reboot process, instead of simply restarting, the machine shuts down. And sometimes, it won't even shut down gracefully. It's a gamble, a flip of the coin, a spin of a bullet chamber — it's Russian roulette.

The Danger in The Server Room

Now, this game of chance may seem insignificant, just another quirk of the IT industry. But consider this: in many cases, production servers have the "Install updates automatically" setting turned on. A server going offline without warning? That's the stuff of nightmares for any business. It can lead to unanticipated downtime, loss of productivity and worst of all, loss of revenue. Not to mention the chaos it wreaks on your IT team's peace of mind!

Morale of the Story: Let's Be Safe Out There

So, what's the solution? It's simple: Do not enable automatic installation of updates on production servers or any machines that you can't easily power back up. The minor inconvenience of manually installing important updates far outweigh swiftly falling into the pitfall of unexpected system shut downs.

In the world of IT, unexpected surprises are rarely welcome. Let's keep Russian roulette out of our server rooms and ensure consistent, reliable operation for our businesses. And remember, a mindful approach to updates is the mark of a truly professional system administrator.

blog comments powered by Disqus