I recently inherited a SQL Server 2014 installation and I'd like to install updates. The virtual machine runs Windows Server 2016 standard. The server has about 50+ databases with 400Gb of data. I'm a developer and don't have much DBA knowledge.

Current plan is to update SQL Server to 2014 SP3 (right now it's RTM). Are there any problems I should be aware of?

I do plan on trying it out on a non-production server first - but unfortunately can't get the same exact Windows version.

Is there some script or utility to healthcheck SQL Server installation? I doubt that manually running sql statements will be very thorough. I only found Brent Ozar's blitz so far.

  • 1
    Hi @Chester89--in general, upgrading to a service pack is safe. There's no way someone will tell you it's 100% safe because we can't test it with your application. It's highly unlikely there will be an issue, but impossible for anyone to state that as a fact. The best approach is to have a test environment to test it. If you don't have that, then get good backups and then upgrade. As for the healthcheck script--this site is not a forum for recommending software. There are tons of SQL Server monitoring applications out there. Most have evals--check them out and see what you like. Mar 30 '20 at 16:36

You actually want to keep up to date on service packs in SQL < 2014 as you won't get support after awhile if you don't.

The support policy can be found here.

Generally installing Service Packs is safe but for any production system please make sure you have a strong backup model in place and hopefully a test environment to simulate all changes for production ahead of time to validate that they work.

  • are backups backwards compatible? e.g. if I take a backup from instance with SP3 installed, will I be able to restore it to RTM instance? I see some answers that suggest it won't work stackoverflow.com/questions/6183139/…
    – chester89
    Mar 31 '20 at 16:25
  • within a major version, you can restore a database to the RTM version. 2008 and 2008 R2 were different releases despite the naming. Going from <service release X of major release Y> to RTM version of major release Y should work fine. Apr 1 '20 at 1:12

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