I recently read a blog post on my friend Randolph West blog about Windows Updates. Please read what he said here. I’d like to take a minute and both echo what Randolph said and expand on it.
Keeping your software up to date is important. I’ve heard all the excuses and even used them myself. I’m too busy, I don’t want anything to break, If it works why fix it and so on…. Yes I’ve had updates break things before but I ask you now what’s worse, fixing a problem because of an update or running the risk of getting so far behind that you risk running into that problem and many others or getting so far behind you no longer have a direct upgrade path to the latest version. I’m not saying be on bleeding edge just be at least somewhat current.
Common updates often forgotten about even when software updates are taken care of is firmware updates. Server, Storage, Switches, Firewalls, and Printers. Yes even printers need to be updated. Just recently ago a I ran into an issue with a client where old switch firmware on an iSCSI network likely caused SQL data corruption and even if it didn’t cause the corruption it was causing performance issues with dropped packets. This problem could have been avoided with a regular update schedule.
My final point is around support. Many vendors won’t support you in diagnosing a new issue until firmware is either up to date or close to it. So you time to diagnose and resolve an issue is only extended. I can’t tell you how nice it is to call in to support have them ask your version and the support rep to respond with “Thank you for staying current, no problem there” and then proceed with fixing your issue.
I know we are all busy but Please try to work some time in for those updates.