On what basis do we decide whether to use GDR or CU?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I have installed sql server 2019 in Jan 2021.

We are planning to patch the sqlserver and from this link there are 2 options:

  1. GDR

  2. CU

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/database-engine/install-windows/latest-updates-for-microsoft-sql-server?view=sql-server-ver15

I couldn’t find clear reference to understand the basis on how to decide whether to choose GDR or CU?

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

GDR stands for General Distribution Release, whilst CU stands for Cumulative Update. The difference is that GDR patches contain only security fixes, and CUs include security fixes and functional fixes.

As for which patch branch to follow, Microsoft’s own advice from the forementioned page says:

For any given baseline, either the GDR or CU updates could be options
(see below).

  • If SQL Server installation is at a baseline version, you can choose either the GDR or CU update.
  • If SQL Server installation has intentionally only installed past GDR updates, then choose to install the GDR update package.
  • If SQL Server installation has intentionally installed previous CU updates, then chose to install the CU security update package.

As a rule of a thumb, install Cumulative Updates unless you know that GDR is required. Please read CU patch notes before installing, as they do change SQL Server’s behaviour.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

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