Exchange 2010 sp1 update to sp3

Hello,

I have two exchange servers in a DAG both on version 14.1 (Build 218.15) and I need to bring these up to date to the latest which I believe is sp3 RU9 14.3.235.1

I need to know if there is a specific upgrade path and or anything I need to be aware of..?

much appreciated!
badabing1Asked:
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Microsoft have a specific page on their web site for this scenario
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/ee861125(v=exchg.141).aspx

Specifically run the start-maintenance script on the passive, install SP3, reboot (whether it asks or not) then install the latest rollup.
Once complete, run the stop maintenance script and failover.
YOU CANNOT FAIL BACK UNTIL SP3 is on the second server.

Now repeat the process for the second server.
All CAS traffic should go to the server that has been updated.

Simon.

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badabing1Author Commented:
ok, is it reversible, can I uninstall SP3 if things go wrong? what else do I need to take into consideration?

Thanks
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Service Pack installation is not reversible.
Once you have installed it, that is it.
Your only option is to build a new machine, then move all content to it.

I have done 100s of service pack installations, never once had to go back to an older version.
It isn't unusual for the installation to fail, but that is impossible to predict beforehand and the problems are pretty well document (SP3 is over two years old).

Simon.
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Follow my article
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/10389/Steps-for-Upgrading-Exchange-2010-SP1-or-SP2-to-SP3-with-Latest-Rollup.html

Also  you cannot revert back. As your Schema will be changed and I don't see any requirement also to revert back.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
You have to also be cognizant that SP3 will require a schema update so make sure that you take a System State Backup of your Active Directory environment a long with your Exchange servers as well.

Whenever a schema modification is being performed ALWAYS take a backup regardless of how many times you have completed the task successfully.

Will.
badabing1Author Commented:
Thanks, our exchange servers are VM's. what's the best practice to backup these before the upgrade?

Also, will SP3 change any settings e.g. IIS, OWA, ECP etc.. Anything I should be aware of and anything I need to manually take notes/screenshots of settings?

Cheers
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
For a change like this you can take a snapshot of your Exchange servers in VMware and when you have confirmed that everything is working you can commit the changes.

Also, will SP3 change any settings e.g. IIS, OWA, ECP etc.. Anything I should be aware of and anything I need to manually take notes/screenshots of settings?

Installing SP3 should not modify any of the virtual directories or settings. I would however just make know of the Authentication settings as i have seen these change after applying service packs.

Will.
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You need to back your Exchange databases. That is also full backup. That will help you to recover your sever, in case service pack update causes any issue.  In case you need to recover your server, which i hope you don't need to, then you can use my article.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18110/How-To-Recover-Failed-Mailbox-Sever-In-Exchange-2010-DAG-Environment.html

Secondly, if you have any customized OWA,ECP etc site configured, then you should copy program file folder to alternate location,  before you start the upgrade, as service pack upgrade will going to replace those folder. Once you upgrade the service pack, then you can copy specific folder back into bin path. If you don't have any such customized sites on your exchange server, you can skip this step.
badabing1Author Commented:
For a change like this you can take a snapshot of your Exchange servers in VMware and when you have confirmed that everything is working you can commit the changes.

Will, If the Schema is also updated then reverting back to a snapshot if in case of a SP3 failure, isn't that a bad move?

cheers
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You should never take Exchange server snapshot.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Sorry wrong terminology used. If you have to in fact roll back if there are any issues you will need to restore your active directory first and then your Exchange environment prior to the Service Pack upgrade. Sorry the word snapshot was not the correct terminology.

Will.
badabing1Author Commented:
ok thanks, couple of more things to clarify, we have some 2003 DC as well as 2008 R2 DC and the domain level is 2003.

we also use public folders anything I should be aware of in that aspect?

cheers
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Your DC's should not matter just make sure that AD replicaiton is working properly so it replicates the Schema change to all of the DC's in your environment.

Public Folders should not be affected.

Will.
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
If you follow my article, it has everything. You just need to read it. My 1500+ client uses same article and none of them reported single issue.
badabing1Author Commented:
Thanks Amit, I will schedule an upgrade after I have upgraded the legacy email address and address list policies.
badabing1Author Commented:
sorry for the late response, I will be upgrading this next week as I was updating email and address list policies.
badabing1Author Commented:
sorry guys, ive not had the chance to upgrade this yet, i will be in  the next couple of weeks!
badabing1Author Commented:
Right Gents,

sorry for the delay, i am now ready to progress this, but just beofre i do this, i need couple of questions clarifying -

1- when i update one server does this mean that the other server with SP1 will not be able to mount DB until it is also updated, but i should be able to mount DB's onto the server with SP3?
2- do i have to install the hotfix for cluster as part of the upgrade or is that an optional?  
3- Should i install SP3 first and then intsall Rollup 9 or together if so how  do i add rollup 9 into sp3?

Thanks
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
answers below...
1 - other Exchange servers will continue to operate normally
2 - this is not required to proceed with the change
3 - It would be best to install ALL of the SP versions on ALL Exchange servers first. Once all of the Exchange servers are on the same SP version then go back and install the RU9 on all of the servers.

Will.
badabing1Author Commented:
hi Will,

1- if you read Simon's first comment "YOU CANNOT FAIL BACK UNTIL SP3 is on the second server". is this true?
2- Ok but is it good to install the hotfix or not, does this fix something?
3- Ok understood. Thanks

cheers
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Yes, you cannot roll back to older Service pack. As your Schema is upgrade to Sp3. If you have any interim fix, you might need to remove it, before you can apply SP3 and latest RU.
badabing1Author Commented:
Amit,

thanks for the reply but what do you mean by interim fix?

thanks
badabing1Author Commented:
any more on interim fix?
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
if you read Simon's first comment "YOU CANNOT FAIL BACK UNTIL SP3 is on the second server". is this true?

Specifically with SP3 there are schema updates that affect the databases. If you have a DAG where one database schema is different than the other, you can encounter issues leaving them this way. Not saying that it will not work but you might have unexpected issues arise having this configuration.

Will.
badabing1Author Commented:
OK thanks, im going to update this next week - but i did a valdiation check  i got this on both servers "A Restart from a Previous Installation is Pending"

i know you can delete registry to get around this but why did this message appear?

Thanks
badabing1Author Commented:
Any updates on my last comment, before i go ahead and update please?

Thanks
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Ya, you can remove the key and proceed.
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