One of my day job activities is to run Risk Assessment Programs (RAPs) for Microsoft Premier Customers; assessing the risk and health status of their Configuration Manager estate, and one of the regular issues I see is where customers are on unsupported service pack versions of an underlying technology: usually SQL Server or even the Windows Server Operating System.
Whilst it may not seem that big an issue to be behind on Service Packs; not only will the latest service pack contain a whole host of updates and hotfixes, often improving the security and stability of the product, once a Service pack goes out of support Microsoft no longer provides updates or hotfixes for that service pack version. In short, you need the latest supported version in order to benefit from new updates.
As well as supportability, there a number of other benefits that will come from keeping all your technologies on the latest supported version:
· Reduced Build Time - Baking the service pack into an image build will reduce the time for deployment as there are less software updates to apply once the image has been installed
· Improved Performance and Stability - As well as the inclusion of security updates and hotfixes, service packs will often include updates that improve the stability and performance of the application or operating system
· Interoperability – Where one application has a dependency on another, such as Configuration Manager and SQL for instance, there is a requirement for the dependent technology to be running a supported version of Configuration Manager. In fact, sticking with the Configuration Manager vein, if you look at the supported platforms for both client agent and server components, the list mirrors the latest supported service pack for each version.
The good news is that Microsoft commit to a defined and regular lifecycle for each product and service pack we release; which makes it easy to plan the maintenance schedules of your estate. Details can be found on the Microsoft website here and you can easily check the support status of any of our products here.
Furthermore, if you want to keep on top of lifecycle announcements we publish the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Newsletter, which you can subscribe to by following the instructions here.
You can also access an online version of our most recent publication by going here and, navigating to “Other Lifecycle Resources” on the bottom right and clicking on “Microsoft Support Lifecycle Newsletter”
Rob York – UK PFE
Hi Friend, Great blog nice n useful information , it is very helpful for me , I realy appreciate thanks for sharing. I would like to read more information thanks.
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