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:
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.
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.