Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Steps to perform Upgrade (apply Patches) on your SharePoint Farm

These are certain basic steps to be followed whenever you install SharePoint service packs or cumulative updates on your SharePoint Farm:
  1. Take a backup of your farm - Farm backup is required but since CUs also make changes to the System Registry it is always a good idea to take a registry backup or better create an image of the existing system before applying patches. Preferably you can also keep screen shots of the services on server page for each server and the features installed in the farm to cross-check the status post installation is completed.
  2. Stop the IIS World Wide Web Publishing service (W3SVC) on all your WFEs.
  3. Install the patch (CU or SP) on the server which hosts the Central Administration first.
  4. Restart the server hosting the Central Administration, once the patch has installed successfully.
  5. Install the patch on each server (one at a time) other than your Central Administration server.
  6. Restart each server (right after the patch installation completes successfully).
  7. Run the Configuration Wizard on each server (starting with the server hosting the Central Administration site and then on each other server in the farm).
  8. Optionally, you can do one more restart of all the servers once Configuration Wizard has been run on all of them.
  9. Start the IIS World Wide Web Publishing (W3SVC) service and check your system.
Things to check once the update has been executed:
  1. Check for the System Services - SharePoint 2010 Timer Service, SharePoint 2010 Administration service etc.
  2. Check for the SharePoint services on the Central Administration - Services on Server page. They should be as they were earlier.
  3. Check IIS Application Pools and websites
Obviously, you would not be installing SharePoint updates on your Database server and finally, all this is easier said than done. These are just the general guidelines to be followed.

You would definitely be facing a whole bunch of exceptions during the process of installing the upgrades unless it is a new installation :). Those need to be taken care of based on the issues faced.

Hope this is helpful to at least understand the procedure to install upgrades.