Farm build number will increase only if you will run SharePoint Configuration Wizard after SharePoint cumulative updates(or service pack) installation.
You do not need to run SharePoint Configuration Wizard after installation Windows server updates.
If you will plan to install .Net security patches - be careful with this. It may affect Workflow ...
SharePoint always patched by CU, their is no separate patches unless MSFT announced it. but their couple of independent product which can be patched independently.
Workflow Manager Server
Office Online Server
Distributed Cache (App Fabric) should be patched independently of SharePoint.
If the windows update does not contains the SharePoint updates then no need to run the Configuration wizard.
their is no harm to run it if you want, but keep in mind it will cause an outage on the server where it is running so plan it.
I would suggest you install the latest patch Feb 2020 CU. The lastest CU contains all the update before.
Yes, of course. You can directly hop from 2017 CU to Jan 2020 CU.
Yes you can Hop directly to Jan 2020.
I am not seeing any issue in CU last year or so. I think Jan 2020 is good choice. But please remember, you have to go the lower / test farm 1st to check it completely.
if you apply the SharePoint Server 2010 September 2019 CU, it will cover all the security fix (CVE-2019-1257,CVE-2019-1260, CVE-2019-1295).
You have SharePoint server then it is advisable to install the server cu which include the foundation cu as well.
This is normal behavior in SharePoint 2013. Not all CUs include database schema changes and even if they include them the version number for these schema changes might be slightly smaller than the highest build number included in the patch.
Do not trust the version number that is shown in the Manage Servers section. Instead head over to the Upgrade and ...
The Configuration database version 15.0.15131.100 only indicate the version of configuration database. If you goto CA -> Application Management -> Manage content database, and click into each content DB, you will find each of them have a schema version too.
You can check your upgrade status by CA -> Upgrade and Migration -> Check product and patch ...
Your only requirement to putting the latest patch is to have SP1 installed. As you are on Oct 2017 CU your are already there. So there is no need to install the any patch in between. But I would advise to install them more often (on monthly basis if your farm is exposed to internet) it will reduce the time required for the content DB updates and general ...
Updates are displayed here: https://docs.microsoft.com/de-de/officeupdates/sharepoint-updates
The currently latest CU is KB 4464514 - April 2019
The problem you mentioned was not due to a SharePoint update but rather .net-Framework.
It is recommended to always be on the CU which is 1 month prior to the current month.
That way you are on the most stable CU and aware of any issues or exceptions occurring due to the current month CU .
I have recently patched my SharePoint 2013 environment with the April 2019 patch and it looks the most stable patch right now .
Following is the ...