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Tips for Patching SharePoint 2013

Author by Christian Urena

Recently, I embarked on a SharePoint 2013 Patching project. Luckily, I worked alongside one of Concurrency’s SharePoint experts, Matt Engibous, from whom I was able to learned a lot of great SharePoint patching tips. SharePoint Farms are all configured differently to meet diverse customer needs and expectations. This makes it very important when performing an upgrade so you can maintain a stable and supported environment. So let’s take a look at some important takeaways when patching SharePoint.


Backups, Backups, and Backups!

I stress the importance of performing backups when patching SharePoint environments because it’s very important to back up the server(s) before beginning the patching process. This ensures that the environment can be rolled back to its previous functional state in case an unforeseen issue arises.


Windows Updates

Windows updates are applied to install updates for Windows components and updates for other Microsoft software. Windows updates are recommended and important so they can install bug fixes, security updates or features not previously included in the software.


AppFabric 1.1 Updates

AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server is important when it comes to SharePoint 2013 for its caching capabilities and performance on Web applications and services.

  • To read a great post on patching AppFabric, click here.

  • To download the latest Cumulative Update (CU7) for AppFabric 1.1, click here.


SQL Server Updates

Updating and maintaining the SQL server(s) being used in your SharePoint Farm is very important for many reasons. SharePoint uses and relies on various types of databases such as:

  • Configuration Databases: Store important data about the settings in your SharePoint Farm.

  • Content Databases: Store all of the site content such as documents, permissions, content data, properties and settings, etc.

  • Service Application Databases: Store data about what’s used by service applications.


  • To learn more about the various types of databases, click here.

  • To download SQL Server updates, click here.


SharePoint Server Updates

SharePoint Server updates can include regular updates, update rollups, service packs, security updates, critical updates, or hotfixes. Below are steps to patching SharePoint:

  1. Log in to the SharePoint Farm with the Install Account.

  2. Download the required SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack or Cumulative Update.

  3. Execute the PowerShell Script to automate and expedite the CU install on all servers.

  4. Run the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard in the following order:

    1. Application Server

    2. Web Front End Server(s)

  5. In Central Administration, go to Upgrade and Migration > Check Product and Patch Installation Status to verify the build number matches the Cumulative Update Build Number.

To learn more about the PowerShell script used in step 3, click here.

To learn more about the steps to patch SharePoint, click here.

To download SharePoint 2013 Server updates, click here.

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