Microsoft has announced the availability of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (SP2) recently. Currently, SP2 is only available for download separately and it will be offered in Visual Studio subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source and VLSC soon.
Service Pack 2 includes all the patches since SQL Server 2016 SP1 plus performance improvements, diagnostic additions. SP1 was released back in 2016 so you will see a lot of improvement in this release.
Generally speaking, Microsoft has worked a lot over server and database performance. Some of the enhancement include the following:
Performance and scale improvements for SQL Server, such as improved database backup performance on large memory machines and added backup compression support, which helps performance of almost all databases.
Support and diagnostics enhancements, such as improved troubleshooting and additional information about statistics used during query plan optimization.
New improvements based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server Community.
Some improvements originally introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2 and SQL Server 2012 SP4.
If you want to go through the complete change log, you may check out SQL Server SP2 release notes here.
How to get SQL Server 2016 SP2?
You can download the Service Pack from below mentioned links. Installation is not an issue. Just run the downloaded file SQLServer2016SP2-KB4052908-x64-ENU.exe (For English) on the system where SQL Server 2016 SP1 is installed. Follow the setup instructions and you’ll be good to go.
It’s always recommended to backup configuration and databases of the server before applying the new changes.
Download SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 Standard/Enterprise
Some frequently ask questions that I have been looking at in different forums. I thought I should compile them into an FAQ section for your ease.
Q: When was SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 released?
Answer: SQL Server 2016 SP2 was released on 1st May 2018.
Q: Is SQL Server 2016 a cumulative update?
Answer: Yes SP2 is a cumulative update but you may be required to install at least SP1 before installing SP2. There is no need to install any other update.
Q: What about SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 3?
Answer: There is no news about SQL Server 2016 SP3. It may be released after one year or so. From SQL Server 2017, Microsoft has discontinued the Service Pack model.
Q:What is the difference between Hotfix, Cumulative Update and Service Pack?
Answer:Hotfix is released to fix a specific issue. A single hotfix can be used to resolve multiple issues related to a single scenario.
A Cumulative Update (CU) is a pack of all the previous hotfixes since the last cumulative update. This means if you have not installed all the hotfixes, a cumulative update installation will install those hotfixes for you.
A Service pack is a tested cumulative update of all the hotfixes and cumulative updates since the last service pack. Normally, service pack also contains new features and enhancements in addition to security fixes.
Q: Where can I download the feature pack for SQL Server 2016 SP2 in my preferred language?