Microsoft is killing off its SUS update software, released more than three years ago to aid sysadmins.

From December, the software giant will not offer patches and other updates to the free Software Update Services (SUS). Instead, people will be expected to move to the newer Windows Software Update Services (WSUS), currently at version 2.0.

The SUS server is installed locally on company networks to collect new patches for testing and subsequent deployment. It has not been available for download since last year but continues to be used in many small and mid-sized organisations that don’t want to, or can’t afford to run Systems Management Server.

Replacement WSUS is also free and provides additional capabilities that SUS does not, including a reporting engine, restart controls, bandwidth throttling, a client-side scanning engine and a catalog technology that lists available patches and updates. WSUS also supports patches for a wider array of Microsoft software.

Last week, Microsoft released the first public beta of WSUS 3.0, which adds more features, including replacement of the Web-based management console with one built on the Microsoft Management Console 3.0. WSUS 3.0 also has filtering, custom views and nesting features.

SUS was first offered as an add-on component for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 to simplify the process of keeping computers up to date with the latest critical updates, security updates, and service packs. SUS could also be linked with the Automatic Updates component of Windows client machines.

Microsoft has published a step-by-step guide for migrating from SUS to WSUS.