If you're crazy like me and are testing Windows 8 on your existing domain, you may find that it doesn't like talking to your WSUS server. Much like Windows 7 before it, Windows 8 will only talk to the right version of WSUS: the version that comes with Windows Server 8.

Now, I don't suggest you go ahead and upgrade your WSUS server to a beta server OS, so you might just want to install a separate server. However, if you're using something like Local Update Publisher to install applications via WSUS (as well as updates), you will probably want to test this without having to recreate your entire WSUS environment on a separate server.

So:

  1. Install Windows Server 8 Beta
  2. Add the Windows Server Update Services role.
  3. Configure WSUS to get its updates from your regular WSUS server as an upstream server.
  4. Set the new WSUS server as a Replica server:

    wsus.png
  5. Perform at least one sync with the upstream server (will take ages).
  6. Configure the Windows 8 client(s) to get their updates from the new WSUS server.
  7. Check for updates on the client.
  8. Computer should appear in Unassigned computers in the WSUS console on the new server. Move it to the correct group.
  9. Perform another manual sync with the upstream server.
  10. Check for updates again, any applicable updates should now come through (probably only Windows Defender unless you have locally published updates).


This will mean all the updates and existing approvals on your regular WSUS server are copied to the new WSUS server, but now Windows 8 will actually talk to it.

(Note that you'll still need to give the new WSUS server some storage so that it actually takes a copy of the updates. During the role install you get to choose whether to download a copy of the updates or stream them from the original Microsoft Update server. Don't try to be clever and think that because you'll be configuring an upstream server you can choose not to download a copy to the new server. It won't work and you'll have some very obscure error messages to look at.)