SQL Server Performance

SQL Server Patch Management Methodology

Discussion in 'Greg Larsen's Blog' started by Greg Larsen, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Greg Larsen New Member

    As most of you probably already know Cummulative Update #7 for SQL Server 2005 was released on April 17th. (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949095). Also Microsoft has now said they will be providing a Service Pack 3 sometime after SQL Server 2008 has been release to manafacture (http://blogs.technet.com/dataplatforminsider/archive/2008/04/15/sql-server-2005-sp3-coming-soon.aspx). So one way or another you should consider how you plan to patch your SQL Server 2005 machines.
    As I see it there are three different patch management strategies you can take. The first option is every 8 weeks when a new Cummulative Update comes out from Microsoft install it. This will keep you up to date with all the fixes close to when they come out. The second option is to only apply the specific hotfixes that you need to resolve what ever problems you encounter. And now with Server Pack 3 coming out in the future you have a third option, and that is wait until SP3 comes out and apply it.
    Now in our shop we have decided to do use a combination of option 2 and 3. We have decided this because of this language in the Cummulative Updates: A supported cumulative update package is now available from Microsoft. However, it is intended to correct only the problems that are described in this article. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing these specific problems. This cumulative update package may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by any of these problems, we recommend that you wait for the next SQL Server 2005 service pack that contains the hotfixes in this cumulative update package.
    We feel that if all fixes in a Cummulative Update have not be thoroughly tested then we don’t want to apply the Cummulative Update. Although if we have a problem that is fixed with a particular hotfix then we will apply that hotfix patch.
    Lastly we have decided that when applying a hotfix we will setup a test environment to verify the hotfix does in fact fix a problem we have identified. If we can’t verify it fixes a problem, and/or causes additional problems it will not be rolled into our production environment. When we apply Service Packs we also apply it in a test environment first. But we also will perform some additional application testing to verify nothing breaks due to rolling out a Service Pack. So how are you applying Cummulative Updates, and what is your Patch Management Methodology?
  2. zzzbla New Member

    Hi Greg,As a rule of thumb, I upgrade SQL Servers to 9.0.3054 (SP2 + the hotfix here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=D09CF5C4-FEC4-4322-9FEE-06A43401CF0C&displaylang=en)I don't apply the cumulative updates because of the paragraph you quoted (not enough testing), but I do read about the fixes in them and I consider applying a CU that fixes an SSRS right-to-left issue - not before I try it in a test environment.
  3. alzdba Member

    on our DBA-test instance(s) we follow CUs. Only with instances that are being installed fresh, we apply up to our latest tested and approved CU. (currently CU5).This implies that, for the moment, we have sql2005 instances being at different CU levels, but it also means that if an instance suffers issues, we can "rather safely" apply the latest approved CU, because we know it works on other instances. Only if that is not the case we'll go for the actual latest CU, but up till now there hasn't been a need for this.We welcome SP3 and will test it and plan its rollout as soon as it will be available.Johan

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