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I have 2 environments. One with SharePoint 2010 and the other with SharePoint 2013. I know there is a new update available for SharePoint 2013. What is the best practice to find the correct update installation file and how to install it? Is it just download the file and run it? And is my environment going down for some minutes because it will restart IIS or some windows services or do a windows reboot? It is a production environment:)

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Additional to what Aanchal wrote, it's always good to apply a planned Service Pack or CU/hotfix to your test or staging environment first and check so it solves your problem, and on the other hand monitor that it won't break anything else. There is really no good or supported way to remove an update so once it there, you're stuck with it.

Check your current patch level from the central admin and download the correct packages that you require from Microsofts offical site. Don't forget language packs if you are using any additional languages in your farm.

I always like to use Todd Klindt's blog for keeping myself up to date about the newest releases. But there are of course several other good sources.

SharePoint 2013 Build Numbers

SharePoint 2010 Build Numbers

About installing for example a service pack, i think this blog post is the most accurate and easy to understand instruction.

Install SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 the right way

And for the last part, yes, your farm will be unavailable while installing and updating SharePoint. And you may require to reboot your servers. So plan to do it after-work hours. Installing it on a staging environment might give you a good estimate about how long your production farm will be unavailable.

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The general rule to install updates and patches when you encounter an issue that is addressed by the update. The only exception is you should try to maintain some reasonable level of update. It is not ideal to let your environment lapse two years behind in SharePoint updates.

Many updates are like this only Download and run it. It might cause IIS reset and your system will be down for some . So you should not plan your update in peak hours.

For should read the following for more details:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sharepoint/jj891062

http://blog.crsw.com/2014/02/05/sharepoint-cumulative-updates-best-practices/

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What is the best practice to find the correct update installation file and how to install it? as other fellow Mentioned that applying every CU is not wise idea. You apply CU/SP/Security Updates only when it required or you farm is lack of updates(mean a year old).

I would always Prefer to stay with Services Packs. To find about the updates you have to visit Technet page for 2010 and for 2013

Is it just download the file and run it? It is not just download it and install it. this thing is required more planning / testing. Once you apply the CU then their is no easy way to go back / un install it.

  • Identify why you need the CU/SP/Security updates
  • apply to lower farm
  • Test and Test and Test.
  • schdule downtime for production
  • Apply and upgrade it, test the farm.

their are 2 parts while you apply the patches,

  • Install the Bits(setup/exe) files on all server in the farm.( required down time)
  • Run the config wizard on all server in the farm to complete.( required down time)

is my environment going down for some minutes because it will restart IIS or some windows services or do a windows reboot? you environment will not available during this time frame, because IIS reset, Server reboot required, stop & start services.

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