Just as Santa’s elves were busy busy busy getting ready for Christmas, so too were the developers at Microsoft on the Exchange team. Just in time for the slow period between Christmas Day and the first week of the new year, Microsoft has released quarterly updates for not one, nor two, nor even three versions of Exchange Server, but for all four still under any type of support whatsoever. Let’s take a look to see what’s new, what’s improved, and what you need to do now.

Office 365 and Exchange Online Archiving Customers

It’s worth reminding those of you connecting your Exchange on-prem environments to Office 365, whether in full hybrid coexistence or merely for archiving, that you need to be at N, or N-1, on your Exchange on-prem servers.

Active Directory

This time around, there are no Active Directory Schema updates required. If you’re current through the previous CUs, then you can let the AD guys relax this time around.

Time zone updates

All of these updates include the latest global changes to time zones, including changes to Daylight Savings Time.

Exchange 2016

Exchange 2016 Cumulative Update 4 (CU) makes some changes to both admin and end user experience, so look sharp. For starters, let’s look at admin changes. First, if you are running Server 2016, you need to first apply the fix in https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3206632 to your server, or CU4 will not install. This fixes an issue with IIS crashing when DAGs are formed, and is a prerequisite for CU4. Second, if you are building a new server with this download, note that instead of installing the Desktop Experience on your servers, Exchange 2016 CU4 new installs will deploy the Media Foundation instead. That means your admin GUI experience will be different on new servers going forward. Of course, you can manually add the Desktop Experience yourself for consistency if you wish.

End users will have an updated Outlook Web App experience with a new frame and new location for the edit controls, at the bottom. And yes, I know it’s supposed to be called “Outlook on the web” now but not all change is good. Moving controls that have been in the same location for five versions now is another one of those things!

The full list of fixes is documented at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3177106 and you can download CU4 from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54450.

Exchange 2013

Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 15 includes both security and bug fixes. The full list is documented at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3197044 and you can download the update from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54451.

Exchange 2010

Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 Update Rollup 16 includes security fixes for what you must remember is an N-2 product in extended support. Just like admins still on 2007, you need to be thinking about your next upgrade, though you do have more time than they do. Also, this RU includes some caveats you should be aware of.

  1. If you have installed any interim updates since CU14, you need to uninstall those first.
  2. If you have customized your OWA files, back them up, as this will overwrite those changes!

You can see the list of security fixes for RU16 at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3184730 and download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54453.

Exchange 2007

Well, if you are reading this because it’s actually relevant to you, then I have to first remind you that Exchange 2007 is going to be END OF LIFE very soon, as in 2017-04-11. That’s barely more than three months from now, so if you still have Exchange 2007 in your environment and haven’t got a plan to deprecate it by then, you’re in trouble. Check out our post on options to upgrade from 2007 and get started now, because you really have very little time remaining!

You can read more on Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 Update Rollup 22 at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3184712 and download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54452.

As with any update, you want to deploy these in your test environment before moving to product, just in case there are any issues, and you also want to ensure all of your servers are running on the same patch level as soon as you can. With nothing else to do until all the other people get back from their holidays, maybe you can patch during the day this time and not have to stay up late Saturday night. Fingers crossed for you!