The long awaited Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 has finally been released. There are many exciting new features, but if I would like to highlight 2 of them:
- Exchange Server 2010 support: SP2 is a pre-requisite for installing Exchange Server 2010 on an existing Exchange Server 2007 Organization.
- Windows Server 2008 Backup support: it’s now possible to backup (and restore!) Exchange Server 2007 using the Windows Server 2008 Backup Tool.
Here’s the complete list of new features, taken from the You Had Me At EHLO blog:
- Enhanced Auditing – New Exchange auditing events and audit log repository enable Exchange administrators to more easily audit the activities occurring on their Exchange servers. It allows the right balance of granularity, performance, and easy access to audited events via a dedicated audit log repository. This simplifies the auditing process and makes review of audited events easier by segregating audited events in a dedicated location.
- Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality – A new backup plug-in has been added to the product that will enable customers to create Exchange backups when a backup is invoked through the Windows Server 2008 Backup tool. Exchange Server 2007 didn’t have this capability on Windows Server 2008 and additional solutions were required to perform this task.
- Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation – The dynamic AD schema update and validation feature allows for future schema updates to be dynamic deployed as well as proactively preventing conflicts whenever a new property is added to the AD schema. Once this capability is deployed it will enable easier management of future schema updates and will prevent support issues when adding properties that don’t exist in the AD schema.
- Public Folder Quota Management – SP2 enables a consistent way to manage quotas by improving the current PowerShell cmdlets to perform quota management tasks.
- Centralized Organizational Settings – SP2 introduces new PowerShell option that enable centralized management of many of the Exchange organization settings.
- Named Properties cmdlets – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to monitor their named property usage per database.
- New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging– SP2 enables Exchange administrators to easily configure and manage diagnostic logging from within the Exchange Management Console.
Before installing Exchange Server 2007 SP2 I strongly advise you to read the release notes. Here are some remarks regarding the installation:
- Windows Installer version 4.5 is required to install Exchange 2007 SP2 (Windows Server 2008 SP2 includes Windows Installer 4.5). After the installation of Windows Installer 4.5, a restart is required.
- The Setup Wizard will validate whether Windows Installer 4.5 is installed or not. In case there isn’t, the following warning will pop-up:
- Since I was still using Windows 2008 SP1, I decided to install SP2. After Windows 2008 SP2 setup finished, I kicked the Exchange SP2 installation. It was with a little bit of surprise that I realized one more reboot was needed:
- The release notes mention that “you must first prepare Active Directory and the domains” in 2 specific occasions:
a) an in-place upgrade from a beta version of Exchange 2007 SP2
b) the first installation of Exchange 2007 SP2 in an organization
In my case (scenario b), when I first installed SP2, the Setup GUI did all the work for me, as you can see in the following pictures:
- Here’s a screenshot of my server with SP2, the version is now 8.2 (Build 176.2). Please notice I didn’t follow the recommended path: CAS > UM > Hub > Edge > Mailbox!