SCCM vs WSUS: What’s the difference between SCCM and WSUS?

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) are Microsoft’s management solutions that help IT teams to keep systems up-to-date. Though both solutions have the same capability to manage software, system updates, and operating systems, there are some scenarios in which one is better over the other. 

This article will discuss the significant differences between SCCM vs WSUS to help you decide the best management solution depending on your requirement.

We’ll cover the following topics in this SCCM vs WSUS blog:

  • What is SCCM?
  • What is WSUS?
  • Compare SCCM vs WSUS

Before driving directly into the differences between WSUS vs SCCM, first, let’s understand what they are by starting with their definitions. 

What is SCCM?

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a software management suite from Microsoft that allows managing, deploying, and securing devices and applications across organizations. It is updated only for Windows devices.

SCCM features remote control, operating system deployment, patch management, network protection and other various services.

Majorly, SCCM is used for patch management, endpoint protection, and software distribution, among other potential uses.

SCCM is part of the Microsoft System Center systems management suite.

What is WSUS?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a free add-on application from Microsoft that downloads and manages the patches and updates for the Windows Operating System.

WSUS analyses the current system and recommends the necessary Microsoft updates, and helps users to manage the downloads in enterprise environments. It’s integrated as a server role with the operating system.

Some of the powerful features supported by WSUS are bandwidth management, resource optimization, automatic download of updates, and more.

Compare SCCM vs WSUS

Now let’s understand the differences between SCCM and WSUS by comparing some parameters.

  • Patch Management

SCCM allows IT teams to manage Windows-based computers. Of its many powerful features, mainly SCCM used to deploy updates and security patches across the networks. Microsoft SCCM patch management supports a set of endpoint protection tools and the correct configuration that operates as a complete lifecycle management system for IT teams with a broad number of Window systems. A Graphical user interface controls SCCM patching, making it easier to implement other self-deployed tools.

Microsoft WSUS Patch management is used to test, acquire, and install patches on computers that run on WSUS. Patching with WSUS may be a feasible option for companies that use only Microsoft. WSUS is limited to handling patching third-party apps and also in terms of network visibility and reporting.

Though in some cases, SCCM relies on WSUS to check for and apply patches, offers more desirable features and provides complete control over patch deployment.  

  • Main functionality 

Both SCCM and WSUS are Microsoft products. The significant difference between SCCM and WSUS is that SCCM is a system management software that allows managing a large number of computers running various operating systems, while WSUS is a software update service that helps IT teams to manage updates released for Microsoft products. 

  • Type

Another primary type of difference is SCCM is a system management software, whereas WSUS is a package management and remote administration software.

  • Operating System Deployment

SCCM supports deploying a new operating system to manage computers in several different ways. Configuration Manager supports multiple methods to deploy an OS, such as multicast deployments, bootable media deployments, stand-alone media deployments, PXE initiated deployments, pre-staged media deployments, and more.

The best thing here is that WDS also supports Operating System deployment to computers.

  • Software Packaging

SCCM continues to support packages and programs that were used in the configuration manager.  A deployment that uses programs and packages might be more suitable than an application when you deploy any of the following scripts or tools such as:

  1. Scripts that run on a recurring schedule and can’t use global evaluation.
  2. “One-off” scripts that don’t need to be continually monitored and
  3. Administrative tools that don’t install an application on a computer

You need some kind of WSUS extension to get support for third-party updates in WSUS.

  • Asset Management 

SCCM supports asset management, i.e., collecting and reporting managed computer’s software and hardware data through automated discovery tasks.

Microsoft WSUS also supports asset management, but the functionality is available only in WSUS API and needs a special add-on to implement it.

  • Licensing 

SCCM offers two editions – the Data Centre edition for managing virtual users and Standard Edition for managing physical servers. License price varies depending on the edition you choose.

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a free tool that doesn’t require any license.


Both SCCM and WSUS help one of your IT teams with the most critical tasks like keeping systems and software up-to-date with the most recent patches. However, most of them find themselves in a situation in which they have to decide between SCCM and WSUS. We hope the differences listed above help you to choose the best solution.

If you have any query with the information shared in this blog or want any topic from us, comment below in the comment section. Our team will get back to you with the best possible solution. 

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