A blog by Jose Barreto, a member of the File Server team at Microsoft.
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If you’re installing a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 file server, we always recommend getting the latest hotfixes from Windows Update. That will include all security updates and updates that are considered important enough to be delivered to all Windows Server users. However, there is a class of hotfixes there not pushed via Windows Update. Typically, you won’t get those hotfixes until in the next Service Pack or if you run into the specific issues they address and call Microsoft Support.
As you can imagine, these hotfixes do undergo a more narrow testing, typically focused on resolving specific issues reported by customers. The Service Pack process includes a much broader test process, focused on the complex interactions between multiple hotfixes from different components.
Although this is not the recommended procedure for someone interested in the most stable version of the components, some users prefer to apply the latest version of the SMB and SMB2 file server bits when installing a a server, especially if they have the opportunity to perform extensive tests before going live with the server. However, there used to be no easy way to tell which are the latest non-critical hotfixes, unless you were tracking each individual hotfix that got published at http://support.microsoft.com.
Well, the good news is that the bright folks in Microsoft Support that work specifically with File Services for Windows Server have put together a Knowledge Base article (or a KB) that gives you the latest hotfixes for the SMB and SMB2 file server components. Not only that, they will be keeping that KB updated as new service packs and hotfixes get publish. You see, they are always on top of all the hotfixes being released for their components.
If you’d rather wait for the Service Pack for the less critical updates, that’s fine. However, if you want to install the latest version of the components related to the SMB and SMB2 file server (including SRV, MRXSMB and RDBSS), you now have a single place to look them up. And, as usual, perform all the proper testing before deploying to production. Find that new KB at http://support.microsoft.com/?id=2473205.
That's a great step forwards... but is there any chance of something similar for the rest of the Storage technologies (the obvious big one is Storport, but also VDS, VSS, HBAAPI, etc.)? There have been a few blogs that have attempted to pull this information together in the past, but they seem to have been abandoned a long time ago.
It still amazes me that there is no easy way to find the latest hotfixes that apply to given Windows components (or to get notifications on them) - this makes it very hard to self-diagnose issues. Surely a simple page that would take a system binary name (e.g. storport.sys) and OS version, and list all hotfixes that affect it (with file version number and date) isn't that much to ask for?