Exchange Server 2010 SP2 Installation – Few Must Knows

It is more than a week since Microsoft made the Exchange Server 2010 SP2 installation bits available for public download. Over a week’s time there are a lot of articles explaining the installation procedure of Exchange Server 2010 SP2. In this post, I am highlighting few things that you should know before installing Exchange Server 2010 SP2 in your production.

First things first, Test it in lab environment before installing in production environment.

You must know – SP2 includes schema changes

With certain new features, Exchange 2010 SP2 needs to write to schema partition. A bunch of new attributes / classes are added and a lot of them are modified. To understand what changes happen when you run Exchange 2010 SP2 read the Exchange Server Active Directory Schema Changes Reference, November 2011

Since, the installer will be requiring modifications to Schema, user account used for installation of SP2 must be a member of Schema Admins group in active directory. As a best practice, make sure that this user account is removed from the group once the schema extension is complete.

You must know – New Windows Server Features are required for CAS Role

In Exchange Server 2010 CAS is the primary entry point for clients to any Exchange Server 2010 Environment. With this release, a few more features are added in the CAS server role which makes on premise and Office 365 integration a better experience and also an improvement that makes the silent redirection better within cross site CAS roles. A new feature called Mini Outlook Web  App now exists that works on no cookies, no scripts model.

Address Book Policies aka GAL Segmentation is another new and long awaited feature that is now available with SP2. Essentially, ABPs are nothing but a logic provided by CAS server role the clients that will segregate their access to the Address Lists and Offline Address Books. Although I am not very sure yet whether all these new features require any additional  Windows Server Features to be installed but logically, all these things together demand installation of the new features those are required to be installed on CAS Servers.

Below are some new Windows Server Role Features that you need to install before installing SP2 on CAS Role.

  • IIS 6 WMI Compatibility
  • ASP.NET
  • ISAPI Filters
  • Client Certificate Mapping Authentication
  • Directory Browsing
  • HTTP Errors
  • HTTP Logging
  • HTTP Redirection
  • Tracing
  • Request Monitor
  • Static Content

 

Or Easier way to do the nasty stuff is to just use the setup.com switches 🙂 simply run

Setup /Mode:Upgrade /InstallWindowsComponents

 

You must know – Installing Updates on DAG is not a normal exercise

Many of us run DAG because of its proven reliability and ability to make a highly available mailbox database system. Installing updates on a member of a DAG is not a regular installation though. In June last year I posted Installing Exchange 2010 SP1 (beta) on DAG members . Procedure does not really change except some included hotfixes in my previous post. If you are running SP1 then you do not need those hotfixes anymore.

You did not like that procedure? No worries, Mike has another and simpler one posted here Performing Maintenance on DAG Members in Exchange 2010 SP1

 

Remaining is HT and UM roles. Well, there is nothing specific that you need to take care of there, you can install SP2 in a normal way there.

To summarize,

  • Exchange 2010 SP2 installation package modifies schema. You must be a member of Schema Admins with other necessary  RBAC permissions
  • Exchange 2010 SP2 installation package requires few additional Windows Server Role features to be added on CAS role before you can complete installation.
  • DAG members require a special procedure to install any updates.

5 thoughts on “Exchange Server 2010 SP2 Installation – Few Must Knows”

  1. Indeed a must know for all Exchange Admins trying to put this in production.

    Neatly explained Milind 🙂

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