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SQL Server CU patch questions

Good afternoon,
I have 2 SQL Server CU patch questions, for SQL 2014, 2016SP2, 2017, 2019.

Question 1:
Is it required to reboot server AFTER applying SQL CU?

Question 2:
We are trying to use SCCM to deploy SQL CU and MS patches to our servers.
We have SQL 2016SP2, 2017, 2019 running on a mixed Windows OS version, some are Win2016, some are Win2019.
Question:
I want to have SCCM to push SQL 2017 CU to a bunch of servers that contains SQL 2016SP2, SQL2017, SQL 2019 standalone instances.

My manual testing tells me, that a SQL 2017 CU will be rejected by SQL 2019 Instance during patch validation step. But somehow, the CU extraction and setup process installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 on my SQL 2019 instance server.

Do you think it presents any harm?
Does anyone have SCCM SQL CU patch automation experience?

Thank you,
Joy

  1. OS reboot/restart shouldn't be necessary, the CU patching process will restart the SQL Server service however. Any connected sessions on the SQL instance being patched will be disconnected. The CU install will prompt you to restart the OS if necessary, but you can skip it until a later time.

  2. I've not used SCCM to apply SQL Server patches, but I believe it's supported. I personally wouldn't use it myself, I always do SQL Server patching manually.

CUs are specific to the SQL Server version they're marked for, so any instance that doesn't match that version won't install. If you have multiple SQL instances on the same server/VM, only those that match the version of the CU will be patched. You may get an error when running the CU install, but it's harmless.

There are several support components like MS Visual C++ that may be installed or patched during the CU process, they are necessary and should be harmless, but if in doubt you'll need to ensure that the wrong CU package does not run on those instances. Again, I personally always patch SQL Server manually to avoid those issues.

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Thank you Robert for your kind help!

We have so many SQL servers and our CIO is pushing for patch automation.
Do you face the same challenge of patching many SQL servers?

Joy :slight_smile:

I had to manually patch about 15 SQL instances at my last job, we patched the OS monthly and SQL CUs quarterly. I never felt the need to automate the process, it wasn't big enough.

If you have to automate patching up to 100 servers, I'd suggest PowerShell. This article has an example:

This one uses PowerShell and SCCM but focuses on availability groups:

https://eelcodrost.com/2019/10/16/patching-sql-server-ag-using-sccm-and-powershell/

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