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We are planning to install CU updates on 20 SharePoint Servers and I was wondering what would be the fast and recommend way (Best Practices) to install the update? In other words, would it be fine if I install the CU update on all servers first (in parallel) and then run the configuration wizard one server at a time (in serial?

I want to make sure I follow best practices when it comes to installing SharePoint updates.

Note: We are using SharePoint 2013

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if you follow couple of things then you will get better time.

  1. Make sure search crawl is stopped and unscheduled it.
  2. Make User Profile Sync is stopped,
  3. Also stop (if any) custom jobs or Content Deployment.
  4. Stop the followings services on the all server in farm in the same order.
    • Disable the IISAdmin and SPTimerV4 service
    • Shut down IIS Admin and Timer Services if they are running
    • Stop OSearch15
    • Stop SPSearchHostController
  5. Install the Patches on all server in parallel
  6. Now run upgrade-spcontentdatabase against all the content database( you can run multiple commands against different db at the same time.)
  7. Run the config wizard on all server one by one( one thread at a giving time.).
  8. Restart the services in reverse order.
  9. Now start the search, upa and other customization.

please check the following blogs for more details.

Why SharePoint 2013 Cumulative Update takes 5 hours to install?

How to install update packages on a SharePoint farm where search component and high availability search topologies are enabled

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