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Thursday, October 15, 2015

SQL Server Patching

Best Practice for Patching SQL Server

1.     Where can I find out what the latest patch level is for SQL Server? 
Best site choice of patch levels of SQL Server is http://sqlserverbuilds.blogspot.com.
In addition to knowing what patches are out there, you should also be aware of what the current supported patch level is.  The support lifecycle for SQL Server is documents on the Microsoft support website:http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?c2=1044.  This site will show you the mainstream and extended support start and end dates for the different versions of SQL Server.  Note that this site shows the minimum required patch level for Microsoft support, not the current latest patch level.

Basic overview of service pack as on 15th Oct 2015 :



RTM (no SP)
SP1
SP2
SP3
SP4
↓ SQL Server 2016
     codename?
Community Technology Preview (beta release)




↓ SQL Server 2014
     codename Hekaton SQL14
12.0.2000.8
12.0.4100.1
or 12.1.4100.1



↓ SQL Server 2012
     codename Denali
11.0.2100.60
11.0.3000.0
or 11.1.3000.0
11.0.5058.0
or 11.2.5058.0


↓ SQL Server 2008 R2
     codename Kilimanjaro
10.50.1600.1
10.50.2500.0
or 10.51.2500.0
10.50.4000.0
or 10.52.4000.0
10.50.6000.34
or 10.53.6000.34

↓ SQL Server 2008
     codename Katmai
10.0.1600.22
10.0.2531.0
or 10.1.2531.0
10.0.4000.0
or 10.2.4000.0
10.0.5500.0
or 10.3.5500.0
10.0.6000.29
or 10.4.6000.29
↓ SQL Server 2005
     codename Yukon
9.0.1399.06
↓ SQL Server 2000
     codename Shiloh
8.0.194
↓ SQL Server 7.0
     codename Sphinx
7.0.623

N.B : All SQLServer service packs are cumulative, meaning that each new service pack contains all the fixes that are included with previous service packs and any new fixes.


2. Type of Patches Are Out There For SQL Server

  There are 3 types of patch for SQL Server:
  • Service Packs
  • Security Patches
  • Cumulative Updates
SQL Server patches are are cumulative, so we can apply latest patch without the old patches if forgotten
Service Packs should be considered as major patch levels and generally speaking it is the product at a certain patch level that forms the minimum supported build for Microsoft support. Once a Service Pack has been released, you have 1 year to apply that Service Pack in order to remain at a supported level.,

3. How to apply patch on SQL Server?
On stand-alone:
                Run patch-Select sql instance-reboot server.

/QUIET /INSTANCENAME=
Or
/QUIET /ALLINSTANCES

Eg: SQLServer2008-KB956717-x64.exe /QUIET /ALLINSTANCES

On Cluster (2008 onwards):
                Run patch on passive node – failover active node- apply patch on remaining passive node.

4. What is Slipstreaming patching during setup?

As of SQL 2008 SP2, it has ability to integrate Service Packs and CU's into the installation media of SQL Server.  This has the great advantage of speeding up the patching process for new installations, as well as allowing us to address any setup related issues.  Slipstreaming places the patch files into the installation media so that they are installed as the SQL instance is being installed, so that you only run setup once, and you have a fully patched and ready to go instance.  It is a great time save, and I use this all the time for Service Packs and CU's for my demo systems.  In this blog as a full description of the process can be found on this blog:



                

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