Microsoft Changes Stance on SQL Server Cumulative Updates and Service Packs

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Have you ever hesitated to apply a cumulative update (CU) for SQL Server because you weren’t aware that any of your servers were experiencing a problem it fixed? Have you decided to only apply service packs (SPs) to SQL Server because the language Microsoft used led you to believe they were tested more thoroughly than CUs? No longer!

As of January 2016, Microsoft recommends you test and apply all CUs for all of your SQL Servers. Microsoft recommends “ongoing, proactive installation of CUs as they become available”. (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlreleaseservices/announcing-updates-to-the-sql-server-incremental-servicing-model-ism/) CUs are certified and tested to the level of SPs.

You will also be able to access the CUs in new ways.

  • The latest CU will be available on microsoft.com/downloads.

  • All CUs will be maintained in the Windows Update Catalog.

  • Downloading the CU will not require providing an email address and getting a URL.

In the future, Microsoft says they may provide the CUs as an optional update in Windows Update, which I think would be helpful.

Patching your SQL Servers maintains their security, reliability, and performance, and Microsoft is now enabling you to do so more frequently, with more confidence.

Contact us today if we can help with your SQL Server security, reliability, or performance needs!

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