SQL Server 2017 CU20
On April 7, 2020, Microsoft released SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Update 20. This is Build 14.0.3294. 2. By my count, there are 36 public hotfixes in SQL Server 2017 CU20, which is about an average number.
No Service Packs
SQL Server 2017 and newer does not have Service Packs. Microsoft is not using Service Packs as a servicing mechanism for SQL Server, only cumulative updates.
Microsoft released a new CU every month for SQL Server 2017 for the first twelve months after GA. After the first year, they switched to releasing a new CU every two months. This is what they will do until SQL Server 2017 falls out of Mainstream Support on October 11, 2022. When SQL Server 2017 falls out of Mainstream Support, there won’t be anymore cumulative updates.
SQL Server cumulative updates are actually cumulative, which might seem obvious from the name. This means that when you install SQL Server 2017 CU20, you are going to get all of the hotfixes and product improvements from ALL of the previous CUs. Microsoft has fixed hundreds of bugs since SQL Server 2017 RTM, and they have also added a significant number of product improvements and new features since the RTM release.
Despite some recent stumbles by Microsoft, I am still a big proponent of trying to keep your SQL Server instances as up to date as possible. That does not mean throwing a new CU into Production the day it is released, but it also does not mean avoiding patching SQL Server indefinitely either. You really are better off trying to stay as current as possible on your SQL Server builds.
Here is Microsoft’s official guidance:
Microsoft recommends ongoing, proactive installation of CUs as they become availablehttps://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4541283/cumulative-update-20-for-sql-server-2017
- 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.
I recently published Performance and Stability Fixes in SQL Server 2019 CU Builds for SQL Server 2019. I will be posting a similar article for SQL Server 2017 soon!
Please let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!