Where Can I Download a Specific SQL Server Cumulative Update?

Microsoft has made a lot of changes to their servicing model for SQL Server over the years, specifically moving more towards Cumulative Updates and away from Service Packs as a means to deliver updates and fixes to SQL Server. Today I needed to replace a server in a Failover Clustered Instance (FCI) of SQL Server 2014 that was on Service Pack 1 + CU7. So I went to the KB article for CU7 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3162659) and clicked what I thought was the download link to CU7 for SP1:

Download Latest CU Link

However, to my dismay that link took me to the download link for SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU8 and not to CU7 as I was expecting. So I tried other SP1 CU links and they all redirect to the CU8 download page. Slightly irritated I decided to send a Skype IM to Glenn (@GlennAlanBerry|Blog) what was going on because he keeps up with every update Microsoft publishes for SQL Server. Glenn told me that Microsoft’s recommendation and preference is for people to install the latest CU so the KB articles now link to the latest CU download page. That doesn’t really help me with adding a failed FCI node back into a FCI that is on CU7, so Glenn offered to share the CU7 file with me by Dropbox.

It turns out that I didn’t need Glenn to share the file with me, I needed to read the information on the KB article closer and pay attention.

Download CU7 Link

The Note at the bottom of the information specifically says that after future CUs are released this specific CU can be downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Update Catalog.  So if you need a specific CU for SQL Server, either for testing purposes, or to fix a failed FCI node, head over to the Microsoft Windows Update Catalog, and you can easily find it there.

One additional note:

You have to use Internet Explorer to access the Microsoft Windows Update Catalog, the site won’t allow you to access it using Google Chrome or other non-IE browsers it seems.

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer Completely Free!

Just in case you missed the announcement by Greg Gonzalez at SQL Sentry this morning, Plan Explorer Pro and what would have become Plan Explorer Ultimate are now completely free.

plan-explorer-blog-post

Since SQL Sentry first released Plan Explorer in late 2007, I have been a huge fan and this is a tool that is one of my most heavily used in consulting work. I recommend it to clients almost everyday and routinely demonstrate the different editions during our Immersion Events and at SQL Saturdays. Where the previous Free edition simplified analysis of execution plans, the new features that have been added from the previous Pro edition and what would have become Ultimate edition make this hands down the best tool for performance tuning and execution plan analysis. The new Index Analysis tab with statistics histogram graphed out will make analyzing plan skew due to parameter sensitivity much easier. This is a feature that I’ve been waiting to see live for months now and can’t wait to make more use of in client engagements.

index-analysis

Add to that the ability to analyze deadlock graphs, collection of execution wait statistics with Extended Events, query execution plan history with notes, and advanced plan layout and filtering options. Now it is all COMPLETELY FREE!  As if that’s not good enough, you can also attend a free query tuning seminar with Aaron Bertrand on Friday September 9th 11:00AM-12:00PM EST where he will demonstrate how to use the new tool more effectively.

Free Seminar on Query Tuning