SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 3 CU1 Released

On December 12, 2018, Microsoft released SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 3 CU1, which is Build 12.0.6205.1. There are 13 hotfixes in the public fix list. If you are running SQL Server 2014, you should be planning on getting on the SP3 branch as soon as possible (if you haven’t done it already). Keep in mind that SQL Server 2014 will fall out of Mainstream Support on July 9, 2019, which means there will be no more Service Packs or Cumulative Updates after that.

Microsoft also released SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2 CU15 on the same day. It is Build 12.0.5605.1, and it has 7 hotfixes in the public fix list. If you are on the SP2 or an even earlier branch, you should be thinking about getting on SP3 as soon as you can.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU2 Available

On July 16, 2018, Microsoft released SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU2, which is Build 13.0.5153.0. There are 21 fixes in the public fix list, including a number of fixes in the SQL performance, SQL Engine, and High Availability fix areas.

Microsoft has also released SQL Server 2016 SP1 CU10, which is Build 13.0.4514.0. There are also 21 fixes in the public fix list, including a number of fixes in the High Availability and SQL Engine fix areas. I think you should be on The SQL Server 2016 SP2 branch by now, or as soon as possible, but the SP1 branch is still supported.

I want to convince more people to try to keep their SQL Server instances up to date with Cumulative Updates. If you do the proper testing, planning and preparation, I think the risks from installing a SQL Server Cumulative Update are quite low (despite the occasional issues that people run into).

If you install a Cumulative Update or Service Pack on a Production system the day it is released, after doing no testing whatsoever, and then run into problems (and don’t have a plan on how to recover), then I don’t have that much sympathy for you.

On the other hand, if you go through a thoughtful and thorough testing process, and you have a plan for how you will install the CU, and how you would recover if there were any problems, then you are much less likely to have any problems. You are also much more likely to avoid the issues that are fixed by all of the included fixes in the new build of SQL Server. You have done your job as a good DBA.

Finally, Microsoft has changed their official guidance about whether you should install SQL Server Cumulative Updates. As they say, “we now recommend ongoing, proactive installation of CU’s as they become available”.

SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Update 6

On April 17, 2018, Microsoft released SQL Server 2017 CU6, which is Build 14.0.3025.34 I count 39 fixes or improvements in the public fix list.

Remember, there are not going to be any Service Packs for SQL Server 2017. We are still in the monthly release cycle for SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Updates which will last for the first year after release. After that the CU release cycle will change to quarterly until SQL Server 2017 falls out of Mainstream Support on October 11, 2022.

As always, my recommendation is to try to stay as current as possible with your SQL Server Cumulative Updates. That doesn’t mean that you should deploy them to Production the day they are released, with absolutely no testing, but it also doesn’t mean that you should not make any effort to stay current. Try to find a deployment cadence that makes sense for your organization.