Recent SQL Server 2012 and 2014 Updates

Microsoft has released a number of SQL Server Cumulative Updates and Service Packs over the past several weeks. For SQL Server 2014, these include:

June 20, 2016    SQL Server 2014 RTM CU14 (12.0.2569)

June 20, 2016    SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU7 (12.0.4459)

July 11, 2016     SQL Server 2014 SP2 RTM (12.0.5000)

SQL Server 2014 RTM CU14 will be the last cumulative update for the SQL Server 2014 RTM branch, and it is now an “unsupported service pack”. If you are still on the RTM branch, you should be be planning on moving to either SP1 or preferably SP2. SQL Server 2014 SP2 RTM has all of the fixes that are in SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU7, so there is no need to wait for SQL Server 2014 SP2 CU1 in order to “catch up” to the previous branches. It also has a number of new features and performance improvements (which you can read about here), so I think people are going to want to move to the SP2 branch relatively soon.

You can find the official Microsoft Build list for SQL Server 2014 here:

SQL Server 2014 Build Versions

 

For SQL Server 2012, we have these updates:

July 18, 2016     SQL Server 2012 SP2 CU13  (11.0.5655)

July 18, 2016     SQL Server 2012 SP3 CU4    (11.0.6540)

As always, I think you are better off to be on the latest Service Pack for whatever version of SQL Server you are using. For SQL Server 2012, the RTM and SP1 branches are both considered “unsupported service packs”. You need to be on either SP2 or SP3, preferably SP3.

You can find the official Microsoft Build lists for SQL Server 2012 SP3 and SP2 here:

SQL Server 2012 SP3 build versions

SQL Server 2012 SP2 build versions

Finally, if you or your organization are still reluctant to deploy SQL Server Cumulative Updates, you should read the current official guidance from Microsoft about this. One of the key points is “we now recommend ongoing, proactive installation of CU’s as they become available”. This does not mean that you just blindly deploy a cumulative update to Production the day it is released. Rather, you should have a good testing and deployment plan that you go through before you deploy to Production. You can read the full Microsoft guidance here:

Announcing updates to the SQL Server Incremental Servicing Model (ISM)

Performance and Stability Related Fixes in Post-SQL Server 2012 SP3 Builds

As of August 8, 2017, there have been ten Cumulative Updates (CU) for the Service Pack 3 branch of SQL Server 2012. There have been a fairly high number of hotfixes in every one of these Cumulative Updates, as more people are using SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3. If you are running SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3, I really think you should be running the latest SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update.

Table 1 shows the SQL Server 2012 SP3 CU builds that have been released so far.

Build Description Release Date
11.0.6290 SP3 RTM November 22, 2015
11.0.6518 SP3 CU1 January 18, 2016
11.0.6523 SP3 CU2 March 21, 2016
11.0.6537 SP3 CU3 May 16, 2016
11.0.6540 SP3 CU4 July 18, 2016
11.0.6544 SP3 CU5 September 20, 2016
11.0.6567 SP3 CU6 November 16, 2016
11.0.6579 SP3 CU7 January 17, 2017
11.0.6594 SP3 CU8 March 20, 2017
11.0.6598 SP3 CU9 May 15, 2017
11.0.6607 SP3 CU10 August 8, 2017
     

Table 1: SQL Server 2012 SP3 CU Builds

 

You can follow the KB article link below to see all of the CU builds for the SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 branch.

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Build Versions

Like I did for the SQL Server 2012 SP2 branch, I decided to scan the hotfix list for all of the Cumulative Updates in the SP3 branch, looking for performance and general reliability-related fixes for the SQL Server Database Engine. I came up with the list below, but this listing is completely arbitrary on my part. You may come up with a completely different list, based on what specific SQL Server 2012 features you are using.

Here are the fixes in the Service Pack 3 branch:

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 1 (Build 11.0.6518), 8 total public hot fixes

FIX: You cannot use the Transport Layer Security protocol version 1.2 to connect to a server that is running SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2012

FIX: SQL Server may crash when a request for execution of a remote stored procedure contains incomplete definition of arguments

FIX: You receive error messages when you run a query that uses tempdb in SQL Server

An update to enable the “-k” startup parameter to control the rate that work files can spill to tempdb is available for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3

FIX: The CHANGETABLE function in a query returns incorrect results when Change Tracking is enabled for a SQL Server database

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 2 (Build 11.0.6523), 20 total public hot fixes

FIX: Slow performance when you query numeric data types from an Oracle database

FIX: Access violation when you execute a stored procedure that uses a cursor on a table variable in SQL Server

FIX: An assertion failure occurs on the secondary replica when you use the AlwaysOn Availability Groups feature in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Numeric overflow when you run a query that spills more than 65,535 extents to tempdb in SQL Server 2014 or 2012

FIX: Column data is deleted when you update another column in a table in SQL Server 2012

FIX: SMK initialization fails on one node of a SQL Server 2012 failover cluster

FIX: SQL Server stops responding when you back up the certificate that is used to encrypt the database encryption key in SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014

FIX: XA transactions aren’t cleaned when you exit a Java application in an instance of SQL Server

FIX: Error occurs when you try to drop or delete filegroups or partition schemes and functions in SQL Server

FIX: The Log Reader Agent stops intermittently and an Access Violation occurs in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Error when you use the replication feature in SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2012

FIX: Access violation and the program restarts when you change an extended events session in SQL Server 2014 or 2012

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 3 (Build 11.0.6537), 23 total public hot fixes

FIX: You do not have the permissions to execute the system sp_readerrorlog stored procedure in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Filestream directory is not visible after an AlwaysOn replica is restarted in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Cannot alter column because it is enabled for Replication or Change Data Capture error occurs after a database is restored to a SQL Server that does not support change data capture

FIX: Error 1478 when you add a database back to the AlwaysOn availability group in SQL Server 2012

FIX: “Cannot resolve the collation conflict” error when you apply a snapshot to the subscriber database in SQL Server

FIX: “A severe error occurred on the current command” when a Table-Valued User-Defined function is referred to by a synonym

FIX: Creating a database on a system that has a large amount of memory installed takes longer

FIX: “Non-yielding Scheduler” error when versioning cleanup task runs on a SQL Server AlwaysOn secondary replica

FIX: FileTables in an AlwaysOn availability group become unavailable after failover in an instance of SQL Server 2014 or 2012

FIX: sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats missing information after index rebuild on SQL Server 2012

FIX: Memory corruption causes an access violation in an instance of SQL Server 2014 or 2012

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 4 (Build 11.0.6540), 19 total public hot fixes

FIX: SQL Server crashes when you run a remote query in a stored procedure by using an invalid user name

FIX: Storage device overhead when you back up data or log files to a network share in SQL Server 2014 or 2012

FIX: Memory leak on the AlwaysOn secondary replica when change tracking is enabled in SQL Server

Transaction log backup failure on the secondary replica prevents subsequent backups on Availability Replicas in SQL Server 2012

FIX: SQL Server 2012 failover cluster diagnostic log does not accurately reflect the failure_condition_level setting

FIX: DBCC CHECKDB doesn’t report metadata inconsistency of invalid filegroups in its summary in SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2012

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 5 (Build 11.0.6544), 20 total public hot fixes

FIX: Assertion failures occur when you query the database-state information in SQL Server 2012

CPU usage increases significantly when you execute queries that contain CHANGETABLE functions in SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3

FIX: Queries that run against secondary databases always get recompiled in SQL Server

SQL Server crashes because of an access violation error that occurs while it reads data from an event file target

SQL Server 2014 or 2012 doesn’t start after you configure the tempdb database to use a very small log file

Unexpected growth of tempdb data files when using SQL Server Service Broker

“The log backup chain is broken” error when the log backup process fails in SQL Server

Operating system error 32 when you restore a database in SQL Server 2014 or 2016

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 6 (Build 11.0.6567), 11 total public hot fixes

FIX: DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP reports false inconsistency error 5283 on a database that contains a partitioned table in SQL Server

Calculation using two measure time values in iterations returns negative values in SQL Server 2012, 2014, or 2016

FIX: TDE encrypted Databases go in suspect state during the recovery phase when you restart SQL Server 2012

FIX: Automatic failover doesn’t occur after database mirroring stops unexpectedly

FIX: Incorrect full-text keys are recorded for the rows that aren’t indexed correctly by a full-text index in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Rebuilding a nonclustered index to add new columns by using CREATE INDEX together with the DROP_EXISTING=ON and ONLINE=ON clauses causes blocking

FIX: Error 3456 “Could not redo log record” occurs, causing replicas to be suspended or repeated behavior in SQL Server

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 7 (Build 11.0.6579), 11 total public hot fixes

FIX: An Always On secondary replica goes into a disconnecting state

FIX: The Target Recovery Time of a database set to a nonzero value causes an assertion and a lease timeout in SQL Server 2014

“A digitally signed driver is required” warning when you install SQL Server packages in Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10

FIX: On failover, the new secondary replica stops accepting transaction log records until the instance is restarted in SQL Server

FIX: Assert memory dump on a mirror server in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Changing the data type and then updating the table with more than 4,000 records causes database corruption

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 8 (Build 11.0.6594), 17 total public hot fixes

FIX: DMV sys.dm_hadr_availability_group_states displays “NOT_HEALTHY” in synchronization_health_desc column on secondary replicas in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Failed assertion and many access violation dump files after the sp_replcmds stored procedure is canceled in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Bad query plan created on secondary replicas after statistics updated via FULLSCAN option on primary replica in SQL Server 2012

FIX: A memory leak in SQLWEP causes the host process Wmiprvse.exe to crash in SQL Server 2012

Update improves handling of documents too large for Full-Text Search indexing in SQL Server

Update reduces the execution frequency of the sp_MSsubscription_cleanup stored procedure in SQL Server 2012

FIX: Error 5262 when you execute DBCC CHECKDB on the primary replica in SQL Server 2012, 2014 or 2016

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 9 (Build 11.0.6598), 10 total public hot fixes

FIX: “The custom resolver for this article requires OLEAUT32.DLL with a minimum version of 2.40.4276” error with merge publication in SQL Server

FIX: Can’t grant permissions to another user to log in to an availability group after the owner is removed in SQL Server 2012 or 2014

FIX: Access violation when a stored procedure is dropped before you execute END TRY section in SQL Server 2012 or 2016

FIX: A REDO thread is not available in the secondary replica after an availability database is dropped in SQL Server 2012

FIX: A stored procedure may fail after an automatic failover occurs on a mirrored database in SQL Server 2012

 

SQL Server 2012 SP3 Cumulative Update 10 (Build 11.0.6607), 5 total public hot fixes

FIX: Access violation occurs when you update compressed data in SQL Server 2012 or 2014

FIX: Timeout when you back up a large database to URL in SQL Server 2014

Update adds the “CLR strict security” feature to SQL Server 2016

FIX: Change Data Capture stops working after a recent cumulative update for SQL Server is installed

 

Once again, the idea here is to give you a lot of concrete reasons to want to stay current with the latest SQL Server 2012 SP and CU, by pointing out some of the more valuable fixes in each CU in the Service Pack 3 branch.  If my opinion does not sway everyone, this relatively new Microsoft KB article might be more convincing:

Announcing updates to the SQL Server Incremental Servicing Model (ISM)

Another very useful resource is this Microsoft KB article:

Recommended updates and configuration options for SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014 used with high-performance workloads

Happily, Microsoft has been updating this KB article with new information, so you might want to read it again, if you have not done so already.

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 CU3 Available

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 CU3, which is Build 11.0.6537. There are 23 hotfixes in the public fix list, some of which look pretty significant. If you are running SQL Server 2012, you should be on the SP3 branch by now (or at least be planning on doing so soon).

Microsoft also released SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 2 CU12, which is Build 11.0.5649. There are 8 hotfixes in the public fix list.

As you may be aware, Microsoft has changed their official stance about proactively installing Cumulative Updates, as explained in this post:

Announcing updates to the SQL Server Incremental Servicing Model (ISM)

This means that you should make a greater effort to try to stay as current as possible on Cumulative Updates, despite the extra effort that requires.

If you are still on the SQL Server 2012 RTM or SP1 branches, you are on an “unsupported service pack”, which is not a good place to be, for a number of reasons.