PSA RE: Hotfixes: A friendly reminder to keep up with the latest bits

30. November 2017 Technical 0

Hey IT Pros. I know many of you are still maintaining (and even still deploying) older versions of Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services and other Windows Server roles.

These in particular, Hyper-V (and failover clustering) as well as Remote Desktop, are notorious for buggyness and issues that can easily be resolved with recommended hotfixes. Did you know, for example, that you aren’t even considered to be on the “latest bits” without them?  Take a look at this blog post, and the associated KB. These links are more than a year old now but I regularly find instances where these hotfixes were the solution, and the admins in charge of a network had no idea about their existence.

There was a time when these “specialty update packages” were only recommended in specific support situations, but in fact, we are supposed to be more proactive now in reviewing and applying certain recommended hotfixes to our deployments.

Ever had clients complain that their 2012 R2 RDS session or RemoteApp just “hangs” or goes dark–with a black screen? Disconnecting and reconnecting to the session may or may not bring it back successfully? Sound familiar? Then go apply the hotfixes. How about inexplicable Hyper-V issues? Especially with your VM backups? Especially with clusters? Probably you need some hotfixes. Get the picture? If you are racking your head against the wall on some unresolved issues, check the recommended hotfixes.

And if a particular update fixes something that has nothing to do with your environment–like a specific reference to Fiber Channel when you have iSCSI? Then obviously you don’t need it.

Look at this gnarly list of hotfixes available for 2008 R2 (post SP1). Yikes, and I thought the 2012 R2 list was bad.

By the way, this is extra incentive to move towards Windows Server 2016 if you haven’t yet, which starts its code base from a lot of these improvements already (e.g. since they are considered “latest bits” the dev team builds up from there). I haven’t seen another big list of hotfixes accumulating for Windows Server 2016–perhaps with the new Windows update mechanism hotfixes will fade into obscurity–a thing of the past, and we’ll always be on the “latest bits.” One can hope.


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