The Exchange Team has announced Cumulative Update 11 for Exchange 2013. But wait? Where is Exchange 2016? Nothing new there yet, I’m afraid. I recommend checking out this video by Greg Taylor. At the 2:15 minute mark, Greg informs us that the first CU will be released early 2016–most likely April.
As always, test these updates in a lab first! I recommend checking out this 7-part guide on configuring Exchange in your lab.
The updates are as follows:
Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 11
UM Language Packs for Cumulative Update 11
Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 12
Exchange Server 2007 SP3 Update Rollup 18
So what’s new?
This update is a culmination of bug fixes and feature tweaks. Most notably it now blocks the ability to mix Exchange 2013 and 2016 mailbox servers in the same Database Availability Group (DAG). An issue Exchange MVP Paul Cunningham wrote about on his blog in October.
Another major change is the introduction of Mailbox Anchoring in the Exchange Management Shell. This function will also be introduced in Exchange 2016 CU1. The Exchange Team writes about it here.
In essence when you open Exchange Management Shell mailbox anchoring always proxies you to the server that hosts your admin mailbox. If your admin account doesn’t have a mailbox then it proxies you to a server hosting an arbitration mailbox. Should an outage make your admin mailbox unavailable, then the server hosting an arbitration mailbox is used instead. If neither is available then Exchange Management Shell fails to connect. As a workaround, you will have to add the Exchange snap-in for your local PowerShell. That process is documented here under Mail Flow.
This change is to make sure that an admin is always getting the same experience when connecting to Exchange. This is especially important in an environment where Exchange 2013 and 2016 are load balanced in the same pool. Microsoft recommends moving your admin and arbitration mailboxes to the latest version of Exchange.
Schema Updates Needed
If upgrading from Cumulative Update 7-10 to Cumulative Update 11, then there are no schema changes. However, if migrating from an earlier update you will need to perform a schema update. Microsoft documents that update process here. For a quick reference on schema and build versions check here.
Any insight into future Cumulative Updates?
If we check this video from Greg Taylor we can expect a cumulative update for Exchange 2016 in April. While not set in stone there is a possibility this cumulative update will contain the ability to rebuild indexes from passive copies of databases.
The advantage here is two-fold. The first is that this greatly reduces network utilization by up to 40% as indexes are no longer rebuilt across the network but instead from their own local copy. The second is this will also speed up database failover times. For all new features in Exchange 2016 check out this article.
Required for hybrid
Microsoft requires that anyone in a hybrid environment be on the latest cumulative update.
Exchange 2007 & 2010
With Exchange 2010 in extended support, we only saw a handful of fixes for it, including a patch for daylight savings. You can read more about Update Rollup 12 for Service Pack 3 here.
Exchange 2007 received only one fix this quarter, aside from the daylight savings update. You can read more about Update Rollup 18 for Service Pack 3 here.
Would love to hear about your update experience. Did it go smoothly? Any hiccups? Drop a comment below.
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