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Through my SharePoint career I've set it my policy to install:

  • Service Packs: Install as soon as they've come out. After evaluating on a test box, install to production
  • Cumulative Updates, Hot Fixes, etc: Install only if the need arises (for example we run into a problem one of them fixes).

The current person I'm with disagrees and likes to install everything the moment it comes out. I'm curious to see what everyone else here thinks of that policy and can point out times they had experienced when installing a Cumulative update for SharePoint was a lousy idea for them.

Long story short, how to you go about setting up patch rules for SharePoint? Specifically what steps do you take to implement a Service pack, Cumulative Update, etc. in your farm? How do you evaluate? What safeguards do you take against Service pack failure, etc?

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+1 For having a policy and process. Many places still have the standard "Oh, updates. I should do those some day." policy. – Stuart Pegg May 12 '11 at 19:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

From my experience:

  • Hot Fixes are to be applied IF and ONLY if the issue affects you. Hotfixes can go horribly wrong if applied in production without testing out in a staging environment first
  • CUs are usually pre-requisites for SP installs, so you can either do it in one shot before the SP Install or pace them out and do CU and then SP

We usually wait out a couple of months to 'review' upgrade stories before taking a dive into SPs. Also we tend to upgrade the Development VMs first before upgrading production.

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I agree with your stance and try to practice that as well. Even MS says only install this CU if you're being affected by something it fixes.

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I think this doesn't need to a be a wiki... especially if Microsoft specifically has documentation stating when a CU should or shouldn't be installed. – Kit Menke May 12 '11 at 20:15
It's asking for everyone's opinions though, irregardless of if there's a Microsoft recommendation or not. Meaning it's open ended and community wiki potential in my opinion. – Eric Alexander May 12 '11 at 20:23

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