Step 1: Segregate your scan results

Learn how and why to segregate your list of SQL Server instances in this SQL Server patch management guide.

First, sort your list of SQL Server instances by SQL Server product release (SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000, etc.),

then by service pack, and finally by build. Identify which instances do not have the latest service pack for the current product, and calculate how long it will take to install the service packs on each instance (you can estimate this by performing at least one installation manually). Then, assuming you will apply all of the service packs, calculate the number of hotfixes that will need to be deployed to reach an acceptable patch level and how long these will take. You should end up with information like this, which will help you plan the downtime:

Service Pack installations:

 
Product
Service Pack Upgrade Path
Count
Est. Install TIme
SQL Server 6.5
4 to 5a
2
2 hrs.
SQL Server 7.0
2 to 4
3
3 hrs.
SQL Server 2000
Gold to 3a
23
13 hrs.
SQL Server 2000
2 to 3a
34
18 hrs.

Hot-fix installations:

 
Product
Build
Count
Est. Install TIme
SQL Server 6.5
6.50.480
2
10 min.
SQL Server 7.0
7.00.1077
3
20 min.
SQL Server 2000
8.00.878
23
3 hrs.

(This is only a suggestion. The point is to obtain some estimated metrics so you can properly set expectations for resources needed. Much of this will depend on whether your deployments are manual or automated.)


HOW TO PATCH SQL SERVER, PART 2

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Segregate your scan results
 Step 2: Obtain service packs and prepare for deployment
 Step 3: Deploy service packs
 Step 4: Obtain hotfixes and prepare for deployment
 Step 5: Deploy hotfixes
 Step 6: Re-assess network
 Step 7: Plan next assessment
 Back: How to patch SQL Server, part 1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chip Andrews is the director of research and development for Special Ops Security Inc. and the founder of the SQLSecurity.com Web site, which focuses on Microsoft SQL Server security topics and issues. He is also the author of SQL Server Security.

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