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Best practices for updating Exchange Server 2013 Standard to CU13 from Exchange Server 2013 SP1

Posted on 2016-10-14
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Our company is looking into possibly migrating to Office 365. I currently have two Exchange 2013 Standard servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 configured with a DAG. In order to establish a "hybrid" configuration, I need to update the Exchange 2013 servers to CU 12 or 13. Embarrassed and ashamed as I am, no previous CU have been applied to the servers. This is partly due to my difficulty of getting approval to perform server maintenance on these particular servers. Once I verify my backups have finished. My plan is to move all active databases to one server and configure mail flow to go to the first server, begin updating the second server by applying all available Windows Server patches, restart and verify all services are working. Being fairly novice to DAG, my understanding is I need to put the Exchange server into maintenance mode. Once done, apply CU 13. Restart the server and verify services. Once complete, exit maintenance mode, configure mail flow to point to the second server, activate the databases to become active copies. Repeat the maintenance/patching process on the first server. Does anyone have any recommendations or see any objections to this procedure? Any best practice notes would greatly be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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Question by:Domenic DiPasquale
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Ivan earned 1000 total points
ID: 41843501
Hi,

there are many good articles on how to do this.
Steps required are as below, for first member, then move to second:
1. Put server in Maintenance Mode
2. Redirect messages to dag2 member
3. Check all queues all empty
4. Disable all server components
5. Install CU
6. Remove Maintenance Mode
7. Resume Transport queues


Step by step guide on how to do this can be found on: http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-2013-installing-cumulative-updates/

Regards,
Ivan.
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by:Todd Nelson
Todd Nelson earned 1000 total points
ID: 41843581
To add to Ivan's comments, if you are "applying all available Windows Server patches" as you say to the servers, do not install .NET Framework 4.6.x before you install Exchange 2013 CU13.  .NET Framework is supported beginning with Exchange 2013 CU13 but it is not supported on an Exchange 2013 server until after Exchange 2013 CU13 has been installed.  If .NET Framework 4.6.x is installed, it will need to be removed first and then you can proceed with updating Exchange.

Also, something to keep in mind about maintenance with Exchange is Microsoft changed their servicing model with regards to updates and supportability when Exchange 2013 was originally released. Microsoft will only support Exchange 2013/2016 with one of the 2 most recent cumulative updates installed. In this case, if you decide to install Exchange 2013 CU12, you are not in a supported model according to Microsoft because CU14 for Exchange 2013 was released last month (Sep 2016).  I recommend installing CU13 at a minimum, but based on their servicing model and update schedule CU13 will no longer be supported when CU15 is released come Dec 2016.

References...
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Author Comment

by:Domenic DiPasquale
ID: 41844977
Thank you for your recommendations. I'll review the articles post an update once the maintenance is performed.
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by:Domenic DiPasquale
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