The Official SBS Blog : Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP2 installation is blocked on Windows SBS 2008:

Important update: Installing Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP2 on Windows Small Business Server 2008 currently causes problems in some web services of Windows SBS 2008 and requires manual steps to fix the problems. A prerequisite check is deployed in Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP2 setup program for Windows SBS 2008 so that Windows SBS users will be alerted and prompted before proceeding with installation.


I didn’t want to add my opinion to the original announcement….

At first I was in the SBSer mode and was slightly freaking out about this.  How DARE the Exchange team build a service pack that is blocked from installing via Microsoft update or WSUS?  How dare they manage to build such a beast of a service pack that it needs a separate KB reading or an installer to fix back up the things they break? 

But I then had to remind myself that Exchange’s servicing history (or lack thereof) has always been like this.  No Service pack has been able to be deployed via Microsoft update or WSUS.  And in fact patches only got MU-able after Exchange 2003 sp2.  I got lulled into a false sense of expectation of patching due to the fact that SBS 2008 jumped into Exchange 2007 sp1 and didn’t have to deal with the service pack.

Granted as well, that I really don’t want someone to blindly patch with this size and type of a Service pack without backing up the database first.  But with all that justification in my brain of how crappy Exchange historically has deployed service packs, and this really isn’t anything new, it is hard to justify the cost and potential for issues when there isn’t much of value in this Service pack for the SMB space.

You Had Me At EHLO… : Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 available in Q3 2009:

Enhanced Auditing .  Okay maybe there’s value there.
Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality .  Already there in SBS and it’s about TIME that you released this, SBS and EBS has had it since they shipped and it was promised to normal Exchange servers for months now. 
Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation  – Schema updates shouldn’t be taken lightly and this is preparing the box for future ones
Public Folder Quota Management – hopefully they’ve thrown in more than just PowerShell commands as the GUI is lacking
Centralized Organizational Settings  – again a PowerShell update
Named Properties cmdlets  – Again this is another “I’ll have to see it before making judgment”
New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging – finally more GUI!

Microsoft mainstream support policy for Exchange Server 2007 remains unchanged. Microsoft will continue providing support and Update Rollups to customers running SP1 for 12 months after SP2 ships.  Translation to me is that we have a full TWELVE MONTHS to get this sucker on our boxes,  Thus even once we get the SBS team wrapper, there is no rush to install this on Servers.

Bottom line …. this is a service pack that I’m having a hard time justifying a value to the customer for.  At least at first glance, this is one that I might apply to new clean servers, but existing SBS 2008 servers, I’m going to have to wait and see what value it has.

Other than 1 year from now I’ll urge you to update to be on the update rollups for Exchange 2007 sp2… I can’t see value it in …and a lot of risk.


One Response to I didn’t want to add my opinion to the original announcement….

  1. Great site…keep up the good work.