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I inherited an SQL Server 2016 SP1. I am not a DBA and work at a small company where we do not have a test environment. I know that I need to install the SP2 first. Do I then install the last cumulative? Are there any tools that would help me check what issues may come up after this update.

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Do I then install the last cumulative?

Yes, you should install the latest cumulative update. Some folks would advise to install the "next to latest" version. Since the latest one just came out 2 days ago at the time of this writing, it might be prudent to wait and see if any issues arise before going there.

Are there any tools that would help me check what issues may come up after this update.

There's not a tool I'm aware of. You basically need to go through the KB articles for each update if you want to see what's included. And check the KB for the CU you're installing specifically to see if there are any "known issues" with that version. Here are the KB articles for SQL Server 2016 releases: SQL Server 2016 build versions

You can also follow the SQL Server blog, which will notify you of new releases, and also if there are significant issues with a release or if one gets pulled back entirely.

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    Sorry - I think I added my comment as an answer. – wrightke Mar 31 at 15:29
  • @wrightke No worries, glad it helped. FYI you can delete the answer by clicking the delete link underneath it. – Josh Darnell Mar 31 at 16:47
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    I did go through all the KB articles and the only thing that I thought might affect our instance is the Report Server security fixes. I also ran into this article about CU16. sql.kiwi/2021/03/spools-batch-mode-hp.html. So as you advise, I will wait a bit before doing this update. Thank you Josh for your quick and thorough answer. – wrightke Mar 31 at 20:01

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