The SQL Server team is implementing an Incremental Servicing Model (ISM) to deliver updates for SQL Server. This is basically a fancy way of saying: Cumulative Updates (CUs) will no longer be shipped when the team feel it’s required, instead a new CU will ship every 2 months.
This scheduled approach will probably make more of a difference to the SQL Server Team than it will to sysadmins and DBAs, but it may be good news to companies who have set schedules for patching which could be aligned to match. In reality, I don’t see this model making much of a difference to us in the field, especially when you look at the rate of CU releases for SQL Server 2014 since release. Hint: it’s been every 2 months.
What’s that? You only install Service Packs and only then after the first CU for the SP has been released? Well here are some of the titles for recent bug fixes to give you nightmares.
Cumulative update 6 for SQL Server 2014:
So we have SQL Server deleting the wrong data, returning incorrect results from queries and introducing corruption. These are just the highlights from one CU. Do you really want to take the risk with your systems?
CUs aren’t all doom and gloom though, they often bring us new features:
Further details of the new ISM plan can be found here that include information on requesting hot fixes from Microsoft. For the latest information on all updates for SQL Server versions since 2005, try Brent Ozar’s SqlServerUpdates.com