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We are going to install the hotfix - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553031, would like to clarify few points.

  1. does the SharePoint & IIS services need to be stopped before installing?
  2. do need to follow any sequence like start with CA server, index, query, app & WFEs?
  3. shall we run parallelly on the servers?
  4. do we need to run the configuration wizard on the servers in the same sequence?
  5. does the system reboot required?
  6. does it change the DB schema?
  7. how to rollback if it does not installed successfully?
  8. is there any known issue with this hotfix?
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

1) No
2) No
3) Sure
4) No
5) Possibly
6) Yes
7) Rebuild farm and restore from backup (you did back up before installing, right?)
8) Go straight to the December CU instead

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To clarify 3 (and then 4): You can install the package in parallel. When you get to the config wizard portion, you can run this in parallel as well. With SP2010 the first server will lock the configuration database and the other servers will take turns to complete. –  shufler Feb 17 '12 at 19:42
    
I generally don't recommend doing this on a farm with >2 servers as if the first server fails, you'll have to wait for all other servers to (attempt to) finish prior to coming back to the failed server. –  Trevor Seward Feb 17 '12 at 19:55
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To address point 7 specifically, if your entire farm is virtualized as most are these days then you can simply take snapshots of the VMs prior to applying the patch. Naturally, you should also have full SQL Backups as well, just in case.

Also, you should apply the patch to a dev or QA farm prior to applying it to production. Not only does this give you a chance to test the patch, but it also would would answer most of the questions you list.

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You cannot take VM snapshots of a SharePoint farm as it isn't supported due to timer jobs. –  Trevor Seward Feb 17 '12 at 19:54
    
It might not be recommended but I can tell you that is done all the time by companies around the world. Microsoft itself suggests that if snapshots are taken that all machines be turned off prior to the snapshot - technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff621103.aspx#Snapshot –  Dave Wise Feb 17 '12 at 20:38
    
With the VMs and SQL turned off, yes it is fine. But when people say "snapshot it", they typically mean live, online snapshots. –  Trevor Seward Feb 17 '12 at 21:16
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