Today was a big day for Exchange updates. Not only did we get Cumulative Update 14 for Exchange 2013, but we also got our third update for Exchange 2016.
As always, test these updates in a lab first! I recommend checking out this 7-part guide on configuring Exchange in your lab. It doesn’t take much to get one going.
The updates are as follows:
So what’s new in these Cumulative Updates?
Quite a lot actually. Namely Exchange 2016 can now be deployed on Windows Server 2016. Keep in mind that you must deploy Cumulative Update 3 to Windows Server 2016. Older Cumulative Updates will not work. Exchange 2013 is not supported on Windows Server 2016. It is unlikely support will ever be added.
Exchange will also work with Server 2016 domain controllers. However, this will require raising the domain and forest functional levels to a minimum of Server 2008 R2.
Another amazing addition to Cumulative Update 3 is the ability for search indexes to read from their local database copies. In prior versions search indexes would reach across the network to read from the active database copy. With search indexes using their local copies network utilization can drop by a staggering 40%.
Windows Server 2016 ships with .NET Framework 4.6.2. That said Exchange Server 2016 CU3 on Windows Server 2016 will be the only supported scenario for .NET Framework 4.6.2. The Exchange Team plans to support .NET 4.6.2 for older releases in the December update. Until then keep .NET 4.6.2 blocked from your 2012 servers.
The Exchange Team has also changed how servers are placed into server-wide offline mode during upgrades. In previous versions, when applying a cumulative update, Exchange 2013 and 2016 would be placed into offline mode during pre-requisite analysis. If a server were to fail analysis it could remain offline despite no changes being made. Starting with the September releases server-wide offline is not set until after analysis completes and the installation is ready to make changes. [Read more…] about Exchange September 2016 Updates