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Tibor Karaszi

We are now recommended to install cumulative updates

Microsoft just released a couple of CUs for SQL Server 2012. What is exiting is how Microsoft phrases their recommendations whether we should install them or not. Below is from the KB of one of those recently released CUs:

  • Microsoft recommends ongoing, proactive installation of CUs as they become available:
  • SQL Server CUs are certified to the same levels as service packs and should be installed at the same level of confidence.
  • Historical data shows that a significant number of support cases involve an issue that has already been addressed in a released CU.
  • CUs may contain added value over and above hotfixes. This includes supportability, manageability, and reliability updates.

Now, that is a pretty significant change from what they used to say. In addition, requiring the CU is much easier. You just go to MS Download, select whether you want 32 or 64 bit and then download the bits immediately.

Check it out yourself, go to for instance

Or check out how the KB for a new SQL Server CU: (see the "Notes for the update" section).

Published Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:37 PM by TiborKaraszi
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Daniel said:

though it will be very likely that SQL Server goes the same way as other MSFT products - no longer well tested service packs but instead small patches on regular short intervalls but with significant reduced quality ?

January 21, 2016 1:48 PM

Greg Linwood said:

Hi Tibor!

Do you know whether Microsoft has increased the level of testing for CUs to match SPs or have they decreased the level of testing for SPs to match CUs?

Just checking..



January 21, 2016 6:39 PM

a.m. said:

My understanding is that CU testing is, at this point, equal to SP testing. There is no need to decrease anything when testing CUs, because there are far fewer fixes and therefore greatly reduced surface area.

IMO this is a very good direction, as we'll end up getting key fixes a lot faster. I think if done right (here's hoping), smaller updates much more often represents significantly lower risk to installations as compared to installing mega service packs with hundreds of different fixes.

January 22, 2016 11:37 AM

Standing on the edge said:

You jump first.  Let me know if you break your neck.

January 27, 2016 5:43 PM

a.m. said:

@Standing on the edge

I don't think anyone -- Microsoft included -- is suggesting that users install blindly and without any form of testing or care. Even when installing an SP that's been out for months it's always recommended to deploy to dev and UAT servers for some time first in order to ensure that it will cause no unexpected issues. The same idea is absolutely applicable to the CU model. No necks will be broken except by people who don't understand common sense. And they have it coming anyway :-)

January 28, 2016 11:38 AM

Daniel said:


time will show if it will really work

February 3, 2016 5:10 PM

Aaron Bertrand said:

I have been installing cumulative updates and service packs for years. I have come across multiple serious problems with service packs, and recall maybe one with a cumulative update. Now that they've confirmed their commitment to equal testing for both channels only strengthens my confidence in CUs. None of us will be standing on any edges on the verge of breaking our necks - the fixes in CUs are researched, created, and implemented by the very same people who do that for your beloved service packs. There's just no reason for being so afraid anymore.

February 5, 2016 7:14 AM

Carm Vecchio said:

I too have been installing SP' and CU's for many years for many different clients in many different environments. The vast majority were successful. Fear of failure is not a reason to quit. Do your homework, read the patch info, do your testing and get on with it. You customers will thank you for it!  From my vantage point Microsoft has vastly improved the patch process. Tibor, Adam ans Aaron are spot on with their comments.

February 5, 2016 8:23 AM

DBA said:


You are an idiot.

@Standing on the edge


Don't patch anything!

In fact don't come into work.

It's too risky! You might get run over. You might get eaten by a shark. You might get mauled by a rhino.

For the last decade morons have been not doing anything because it is too risky.

They can't quantify the risk...

They can't mitigate the risk...

What a joke!

February 18, 2016 12:57 AM

TiborKaraszi said:

March 24, 2016 2:13 PM

Paul said:

Please point out exactly what you are reading on these sites, because I don't see it.

For one of your links, it says this...

Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to the latest 2012 Service Pack available: How to obtain the latest service pack for SQL Server 2012

There is nothing about CU in this article.

November 1, 2016 1:00 PM

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