New Exchange Updates Released (September 2016)

Yesterday (Sept. 20th) Microsoft released the newest round of cumulative updates for Exchange server 2013 and 2016.

Microsoft Exchange 2013 CU 14Download
Microsoft Exchange 2016 CU 3 – Download

These updates include some pretty big changes. I’ll give a brief summary below:

  • Windows Server 2016 Support
    • Exchange 2016 CU3 is now supported on Windows Server 2016. DCs running Windows server 2016 are supported as long as the forest functional level is 2008R2 or later. We should note that Windows Defender is on by default in Windows Server 2016. Be sure to check out the recommendations for exclusions to ensure you don’t run into any issues.
  • .Net 4.6.2 Support
    • .Net 4.6.2 is now supported by Exchange 2016 CU 3 and Windows Server 2016. .Net 4.6.2 support will be added to Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 in the December updates for Exchange 2016 and 2013. Be careful not to install this in your environment yet as no other versions of Exchange are supported yet.
  • Improvements to HA
    • Microsoft has improved the way data is replicated between active and passive copies of the databases. The index can now be built from a passive copy of the database. This change will decrease the network bandwidth requirements for replication. They also mention that the Role Requirements Calculator has been updated with this change.
  • Pre-Requisite Installation Behavior
    • During setup pre-requisite checks, Exchange setup won’t set server component states to an offline status until after the checks are completed ensuring your server will stay functioning if the pre-requisite checks fail.
  • Security Updates
    • 2016 CU3 and 2013 CU14 also contain the security updates released in MS16-108.

Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 also received security updates released as Update Rollups last week when security updates were released.

Exchange 2007 is now 7 months away from EOL. Microsoft just reminded us to keep pushing to migrate your Exchange 2007 environment to ensure continued support.

And as always, remember to test these CU’s in a test environment before applying them to your production servers. It’s best practice and really the only good way to limit the possible headaches that Exchange updates can cause.