What's SUP???

What's SUP???

(Updated: 8/20/2018)

What is up with SUPs???   (SUPs – Software Update Point servers…  You know, the only antiquated server role in your CM hierarchy. :))  We’ve had so many SUP storms in our organization I have seriously lost count…  This is where WSUSpools are just severely getting hammered constantly on our SUPs… CPU and RAM are thru the roof, clients are constantly generating errors or timing out, and network consumption on our low bandwidth sites are at capacity.  This recent one, was more than a storm.  It literally halted our users from working at the branch sites, due to high network consumption from all of the scanning and rescanning that were coming from the clients.  Maybe storm is not the word, it was a hurricane!  We’ve always thought running the default WSUS maintenance on our SUPs periodically thru POSH cmdlets is enough.   But something is off, clearly…  This has always left us scratching our heads trying to figure out exactly what’s going on with our SUPs.  We’re constantly searching for answers on how to tame our SUPs down, and constantly adjusting the pool and IIS settings.   (Which I believe we’ve got it right this time.  Check out my peer’s blog Sherry Kissinger regarding WSUSPool, web.config, and CI settings.).   But this time around, it seems the clients are just not completely downloading all of the metadata...

So we reached out to our dedicated MS support folks (which btw are awesome), and worked with them closely on figuring out exactly what’s going on with our WSUS environment.  We wanted to know if there’s a way to identify and measure the metadata that the clients are downloading, and they gave us the SQL below to run against the SUSDBs.  This tells us articles the are deployable and the size of each article.  And the recommendation was to go straight to WSUS console and decline the updates with large metadata that we’re not using.  Hmm, we thought that could be a lot!  Since we had never ever gone in WSUS console for anything!  Who does, right?  Since that’s always been the rule, never mess with WSUS Console.  NOT this time.

Run this SQL (from MS support) against your SUSDB to view all of the deployable updates you have.  (This was separated into two queries, but Sherry put it together).


;with cte as (SELECT dbo.tbXml.RevisionID, ISNULL(datalength(dbo.tbXml.RootElementXmlCompressed), 0) as LENGTH FROM dbo.tbXml

INNER  JOIN dbo.tbProperty ON dbo.tbXml.RevisionID = dbo.tbProperty.RevisionID

)--order by Length desc







  pr.ExplicitlyDeployable as ED,




  tbUpdate u

  inner join tbRevision r on u.LocalUpdateID = r.LocalUpdateID

  inner join tbProperty pr on pr.RevisionID = r.RevisionID

  inner join cte on cte.revisionid = r.revisionid

  inner join tbLocalizedPropertyForRevision lpr on r.RevisionID = lpr.RevisionID

  inner join tbLocalizedProperty lp on lpr.LocalizedPropertyID = lp.LocalizedPropertyID


  lpr.LanguageID = 1033

  and r.RevisionID in (




  tbBundleAll t1

  inner join tbBundleAtLeastOne t2 on t1.BundledID=t2.BundledID


  ishidden=0 and  pr.ExplicitlyDeployable=1)

order by cte.length desc



Once we’ve gotten the number of the articles that we had as “deployable”, we noticed that there were tons that updates that we were not using or have never really used.   So clients were clearly downloading/scanning for all of these unnecessary articles, hence why we were seeing a lot of timeouts.  Thus, cleaning up is what we needed to do by declining all of these updates in WSUS in attempt to make the metadata lean.

Meghan Stewart from MS has a really great guide for maintaining WSUS/Software Update Points, (which i strongly recommend you follow).  I grabbed the script from her post, and enhanced it a little by adding functions for declining Itanium, Windows XP updates, IE, Embedded, etc...   And more optional functions added recently (see below for details).  For not only did we need to decline superseded ones, but we also needed to decline unused and unnecessary updates that are lingering around for no reason other than consuming space and network bandwidth during client scanning.  And we had to find a way to automate this process so we could include it in our maintenance plan.  Lastly, I added email reporting (new) along with event logging since we need SCOM to be able to pick up those errors/events so we can be alerted upon failures.  So prior to actually declining all of these unnecessary updates, we had over 14k articles that were marked as deployable.  After running the script, we now have about less than 5k.  HUGE chunk was taken off, and this obviously made the scanning times MUCH faster, timeouts when away, and network bandwidth consumption dropped significantly at no time.  Script download link below.


LATEST UPDATE:  (8/20/2018) Added the following (NEW!!!)

  • Fixed the missing comma in one of the paramaters (Thanks Johan for pointing that out!)
  • Improved/Updates OS filtering, to only allow decline of targetted OS/Updates.
  • Added Decline updates for the following: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 08, Windows Server 08 R2, Windows Server 12, and Windows Server 12 R2.


UPDATE:  (5/10/2018) Added the following

  • ARM64 based
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Added Maintenance option for the UpdateList folder to prevent buildup.  ($CleanUpdatelist = $true by default.  Will delete files older than 90 days, which can be specified in the param section, $CleanULNumber).
  • Applied a fix where the script would continue to try to decline updates even after failure when querying for updates on target WSUS/SUP server.  The script will now stop when that occurs.  Of course, you'll be alerted if/when this happens.
  • More performance improvements


UPDATE:  (4/25/2018) Added the following

  • Windows 10 Next
  • Server Next
  • Email Report option (Set to $false by default)
  • Performance improvements


UPDATE:  (4/13/2018) On top of being able to decline superseded, Itanium, and XP updates, you can now also decline the following updates:

  • Preview
  • Beta
  • Internet Explorer 7, 8, and/or 9
  • Embedded


Run-DeclineUpdate-Cleanup Script V5 (UPDATED) <-- Download Link


Here’s what the script does:

  1. Decline superseded updates. (# of days can be specified by using the –ExclusionPeriod)
  2. Decline Itanium updates. (can be omitted by using the –SkipItanium switch)
  3. Decline Windows XP updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipXP switch)
  4. Decline Preview updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipPrev switch)
  5. Decline Beta updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipBeta switch)
  6. Decline Windows 10 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin10Next switch) 
  7. Decline Server Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipServerNext switch)
  8. Decline ARM64 based Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipServerNext switch) 
  9. Decline Windows 7 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin7 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  10. Decline Windows 8 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin8 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  11. Decline Windows 8.1 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin81 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  12. Decline Windows Server 2003 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin2k3 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  13. Decline Windows Server 2008 Next Updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin2k8 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  14. Decline Windows Server 2008 R2. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin2k8R2, $true by default) switch) NEW!!
  15. Decline Windows Server 2012. (can be omitted by using –SkipWin12 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  16. Decline Windows Server 2012 R2 (can be omitted by using –SkipWin12R2 switch, $true by default) NEW!!
  17. Decline IE 7 updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipIE7 switch)
  18. Decline IE 8 updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipIE8 switch, $true by default)
  19. Decline IE 9 updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipIE9 switch, $true by default)
  20. Decline IE 10 updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipIE10 switch, $true by default) 
  21. Decline Embedded updates. (can be omitted by using –SkipEmbedded switch)
  22. Can be run with –TrialRun which only records what you can decline (I highly recommend running this first. And examine the data in the “UpdatesList” folder it creates)
  23. It creates event logs for success/failure of the script or failure during decline process.
  24. Cleans UpdateList folder.  It deletes files/folders that are older than x days.  (can be turned off/on by -CleanUpdateList switch.  It is set to $true by default, and set to 90 by default.  Check $CleanULNumber in param) NEW!!!
  25. Sends Email Report (Optional, see below for screenshot) 

NOTE: I strongly recommend running this with -TrialRun switch first, and evaluate what it would decline by reviewing the htm and csv files it creates under "UpdateList" folder.  See the comment section in the Script for more details.

Requirement: Must have WSUS Console where the script is being executed on.  If CAS is in place, downlevel servers MUST run the script first, then the upstream or Top SUP server for declining updates.

This script can be run against individual WSUS/SUP server, or a line of WSUS servers.   For running against individual server, just use the –Servers <WSUSServer>.  If you have a CAS, this script must be run on the lower tier SUPs first, then run on the top.  This can also be automated!  

For automating it with CAS and Child sites (Using task Scheduler)

1. Modify the script and adjust the $Servers parameter (lower tier SUPs to run first, then the top SUP server).  NOTE: If SUSDB is shared, it only needs to run on one SUP.

$Servers = @("<lowerSUPServer1>","<lowerSUPServer2>","<CASLevelSUPServer>")

2. Pick a server with WSUS Console installed to run this on (we run this on our Top SUP, since WSUS console is already on it.)

3. Add this server to all WSUS/SUP servers’ local\admins group.

4. Give the server the appropriate access to the SUSDB

5. On this server, make a Task Schedule, and define the schedule accordingly to fit your need (Recommendation is to run it monthly to keep the metadata lean)

6. Add a program using the following settings:

Program/Script: %SystemRoot%\syswow64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

Add arguments: C:\APPSFOLDER\Run-DeclineUpdate-Cleanup.ps1


Voila!  Automated.  And all you need to is review the results periodically, if necessary. 

Sample Email Report (NEW!!!)


Again, follow the basic WSUS maintenance from Meghan's post, look at your WSUSpool/web.config settings and consider the settings in Sherry's blog (working great for us), and decline superseded updates and updates on WSUS servers that are no longer being used.

That is what's SUP!!! 

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POSH for quickly applying Bandwidth Limitation on SUP Servers

For large organizations, having your CM servers including SUPs at a central location with high bandwidth connection is the optimum design.   However, they (SUPs) may sometimes cause network saturation within the remote branches or pockets with low bandwidth connectivity.   This happens when clients either move from one site to another (requesting a full scan), or when they fail repeatedly and try to connect to another SUP from the SUP list within your site and perform a full scan.   The way to safely control this is to leverage QOs within your environment.   But if QOs is not available, to quickly get this under control is to temporarily apply bandwidth limitation on your SUPs servers until the full scan jobs are gone.   Here's a quick POSH to remotely apply limitation on your WSUS Administration web sites (SUPs).

The default value of maxBandwidth is 4294967295.   Here below, i'm setting the SUPs to a really low value, 100k.   Play around with that number and see what the acceptible value is for your environment to avoid scan failures at the same time being network friendly at the time of the saturation.  

invoke-command -computername (Get-Content "C:\SUPServerList.txt") -scriptblock {Import-module WebAdministration ; Set-ItemProperty 'IIS:\Sites\WSUS Administration' -name limits.maxBandwidth 100000}


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BEWARE: Couple of issues after Upgrading a CM12 Primary site to Windows Server 2012 R2

After upgrading your CM12 Primary site(s) to Windows Server 2012 R2, you may experience the following issues.

1.  You may not be able to access the console after the upgrade.  Check SMS Admins permission to the Primary site's WMI's root/SMS and root/SMS/Site_XXX.

SMS Admins group should have the following:

    • Root/SMS
      • Enable Account
      • Remote Enable
    • Root/SMS/Site_XXX
      • Executable Methods
      • Provider Write
      • Enable Account
      • Remote Enable


2.  Your MPs may experience issues moving files to its Primary site’s inbox folders after upgrading your Primary site to Server12 R2.   Overtime, if this is unnoticed, you would see your clients become inactive in the console.   You may see similar errors below in your MPFDM.log.



The only fix we have found so far that’s effective is to add the MPs in local\admins group of that Primary site that’s been upgraded.



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POSH for clearing DELL OMSA Logs Remotely

Ever get tired of having to login remotely to DRACs and clearing the logs that way?   Here's a quick POSH for doing the same, but saves a lot of time.  Gotta love invoke-command :).   I suppose you could use PSEXEC too, but that's so 80s. :)


For clearing Individual servers example

Invoke-Command -Computername MYSERVER01 -ScriptBlock {omconfig system esmlog action=clear}


Or by group or list of servers Example

Invoke-Command -Computername (Get-Content "C:\ServerList.txt") -ScriptBlock {omconfig system esmlog action=clear}





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POSH for Switching from using non-shared to shared SUPDB on CM12 SUPs

It is generally recommended to use shared SUSDB In your CM12 environment when you have multiple SUPs (Software Update Points) in a single primary site. Thus, have you ever had the need to switch from using SUPs with their own SUPDBs to shared SUPDB?   We did this simply to avoid the clients in failed state for long periods and to avoid that network cost.   Below is the script that I put together to switch from using non-shared SUPDB to shared SUPDB on our SUPs>

This script pretty much follows the general guideline of setting up your SUPs with shared SUPDB.   However, since we had already had it set in place where our SUPs were already using their own SUPDBs, so this will uninstall WSUS off your existing SUP or remove the role (windows feature) so that it can reset which DB it’s pointing to.   Then it follows it up with post configuration to put things back, and to where your SUPs are pointing to that single or common shared WSUS Database.

General guideline of installing multiple SUPs with Shared SUPDB.

  1. Prepare the Database server, create the share (WSUSContent) and create the WSUS group that has access to the share
  2. Install the first SUP with WSUS pointing to the common SUPDB and move its content to a Central\shared location (copy content)
  3. Install the subsequent SUPs with WSUS pointing to the common SUPDB and move its content to a Central\shared location (-skip copy)


Here’s what the menu prompt looks like:



Quick breakdown of what each above does:

DB option

  • Creates the WSUSContent directory and shares it out
  • Then it creates the local WSUS Content group


  • Removes the role and adds it back
  • Runs the post configuration using WSUSUTIL and points to the remote SUPDB
  • Runs the post configuration using WSUSUTIL and moves the content
  • Adds the SUP1 computername to WSUS Administrators group that has access to the content
  • Sets the Virtual Content access to use a service account (Change user and pass in this the script)


  • Removes the role and adds it back
  • Runs the post configuration using WSUSUTIL and points to the remote SUPDB
  • Runs the post configuration using WSUSUTIL and moves the content with -skipcontent
  • Adds the SUP1 computername to WSUS Administrators group that has access to the content
  • Sets the Virtual Content access to use a service account (Change user and pass in this the script)

Lastly, this creates a log in the same folder you run this script under. $scriptname.log.

Again, use this at your own risk! But I hope it helps! J



  • Script only supports Windows Server 2012 and/or Windows Server 2012 R2
  • The WSUSDB server also holds the WSUSContent share here as well. You can change that in the script if you’d like J. And it obiously requires IIS on the SUPDB J
  • Run this script locally on the box you are working on. You will need to run this on the remote database server first to prep the DB. Then run it on the SUP1, SUP2 SUP3 and so on, following the guideline above.
  • Pay attention to the variables that are set above the script.   And it is domain aware, so change the variables in there according to domain environments you have. This is really useful for folks that have Lab and production environments. So you only make one script change and it applies to both for consistency.






CMCB, PowerShell

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