A good read from the Microsoft Research folks: Planet Scale Software Updates
Fast and effective distribution of software updates (a.k.a. patches) to
millions of Internet users has evolved into a critical task over the
last years. The reasons are at least twofold: (i) the large,
ever-increasing number of users requires costly server resources and
(ii) the shrinking time between vulnerability disclosure and malware
appearance requires rapid patching.
In this paper, we characterize “Windows Update”, one of the largest
update services in the world, with the aim to draw general guidelines
on how to best design and architect a fast and effective planet-scale
patch dissemination system.