How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

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How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Z3JlZW5tdG5zdW4 » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 02:48:01 GMT

My Server Admin and I share some DBA roles in our company, they focus on 
Security and Backups, while I focus on BI, Database Development, etc.  

We are on SQL Server 2008 (No Service Packs) and recently encountered a bug 
that Microsoft fixes in one of their cumulative updates for SQL Server 2008.  
We decided we wanted that cumulative update (which goes before SP1) but when 
we realized there was a service pack after the cumulative update, we couldn't 
decide on whether to apply the SP or the cumulative update.

We decided we would ask what the general amount of time DBA's like to let go 
by after a release of a SP before they feel comfortable applying the service 
pack.  (We would still test it internally with our own "stuff" before going 
to production.)  We know Microsoft tests things, and has their own controls 
before releasing SP's, but how long is it before DBA's start to trust that 
the SP is ready for us?  My Server Admin felt that 3 months was their comfort 
level on Operating Systems.  How about on the Database side?  

Besides the fact that SQL Server 2008's SP1 seems to have come out in August 
2009 
( http://www.**--****.com/ ) 
we are trying to build a mindset in terms of how long to wait.  (An 
assumption is that you don't "need" one of the fixes as that would obviously 
change your perspective on how long you can wait.)

Your insights are appreciated; multiple answers are welcome as this is an 
opinion question.

Thanks,
Keith

Re: How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Erland Sommarskog » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 03:19:30 GMT

greenmtnsun ( XXXX@XXXXX.COM ) writes:

The main difference between a Service Pack and a Cumultative Update, is
that the SP undergoes more testing. An SP may include extra fixes that
do not qualify for a CU, and there may even be new features. Exactly how 
much varies from SP to SP.

SQL 2005 SP1 - Made Database Mirroring fully supported. Added two new
               trace flags, a minor behavioural change with TRY-CATCH,
               a breaking change in SQL Server Agent Job Tokens (big
               security hole)

SQL 2005 SP2 - Quite a few changes, not the least with the tools. On the
               engine side, added vardecimal.

SQL 2005 SP3 - Bugfixes only. Well some changes around timers, but they
               could be seen as bugfixes.

SQL 2008 SP1 - Bugfixes only. Or at least I cannot recall any behavioural
               changes. (OK, so there is one around OPTION (RECOMPILE),
               they reverted to the old SQL 2005 behaviour, since the
               new behaviour could cause incorrect results. This has been
               resolved in a later CU.)

As for the qualities of service packs, SQL 2005 SP2 was a disaster, and
they had to pull it twice because of serious regression bugs, both 
involving maintenance plans. SQL 2008 SP1 has not receive any flak as
I recall.

Anyway, what you should absolutely not do is to run SQL 2008 RTM in 
production. There is a serious bug involving outer joins which is of
the nastiest kind. That is, you can silently get incorrect results.
This bug was fixed SQL 2008 RTM CU2.

Iin your situation, I see little reason why you should not install
SQL 2008 SP1. The only reason is if you rely on OPTION (RECOMPILE) 
working with the actual values as constants. In this case you should
install SQL 2008 SP1 CU5.
 


-- 
Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP,  XXXX@XXXXX.COM 

Links for SQL Server Books Online:
SQL 2008:  http://www.**--****.com/ 
SQL 2005:  http://www.**--****.com/ 
SQL 2000:  http://www.**--****.com/ 


Re: How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Chris Wood » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 05:27:52 GMT

Keith,

It came out in April and includes the ability to slipstream and uninstall 
service packs and CU's. See this 
 http://www.**--****.com/ 

Chris








Re: How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Chris Wood » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 05:32:20 GMT

I forgot about lock pages in memory on Standard Edition which looks like SP1 
CU2 or 3 
 http://www.**--****.com/ 

Chris











How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Z3JlZW5tdG5zdW4 » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 07:31:01 GMT

My Server Admin and I share some DBA roles in our company, they focus on 
Security and Backups, while I focus on BI, Database Development, etc.  

We are on SQL Server 2008 (No Service Packs) and recently encountered a bug 
that Microsoft fixes in one of their cumulative updates for SQL Server 2008.  
We decided we wanted that cumulative update (which goes before SP1) but when 
we realized there was a service pack after the cumulative update, we couldn't 
decide on whether to apply the SP or the cumulative update.

We decided we would ask what the general amount of time DBA's like to let go 
by after a release of a SP before they feel comfortable applying the service 
pack.  (We would still test it internally with our own "stuff" before going 
to production.)  We know Microsoft tests things, and has their own controls 
before releasing SP's, but how long is it before DBA's start to trust that 
the SP is ready for us?  My Server Admin felt that 3 months was their comfort 
level on Operating Systems.  How about on the Database side?  

Besides the fact that SQL Server 2008's SP1 seems to have come out in August 
2009 
( http://www.**--****.com/ ) 
we are trying to build a mindset in terms of how long to wait.  (An 
assumption is that you don't "need" one of the fixes as that would obviously 
change your perspective on how long you can wait.)

Your insights are appreciated; multiple answers are welcome as this is an 
opinion question.

Thanks,
Keith

RE: How long does the typical DBA wait to apply a SQL Server Service P

Postby Z3JlZW5tdG5zdW4 » Sat, 02 Jan 2010 07:35:01 GMT

Sorry, I couldn't see my post so I posted it again, but now I can see my 
original post.  Probably a bad user cable!





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