Deploying additional Exchange Server 2013 standard SP1 mailbox server ?

Senior IT System Engineer
Senior IT System Engineer used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi All,

I'm about to deploy 2x additional Exchange Server 2013 SP1 + CU15 Mailbox server role to the existing Exchange server in AD domains with the following role and version like:

			    ServerRole            Edition  AdminDisplayVersion
			    ----------            -------  -------------------
PRODMBXCAS01-VM Mailbox, ClientAccess Standard Version 15.0 (Build 1130.7)
PRODMBXCAS02-VM Mailbox, ClientAccess Standard Version 15.0 (Build 847.32)
PRODMBX03-VM Mailbox               Standard Version 15.0 (Build 847.32)

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So my question is, do I need to worry for any outage or any caveats that is stopping me doing this deployment ?
Any outage required or interruptions to the mailflow ?
If I configure DAG is there any outage to the above email flow ?

Do I need to install the same level of Exchange Service pack or Cumulative update rather than installing the latest CU15 on the new server ?

Thanks in advance.
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MaheshArchitect
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
update old servers to latest available CU (16) and then install new server with cu16 only

Deployment of new server won't create any outage

Author

Commented:
Hi Mahesh,

So if I install the two new mailbox servers with the latest CU16 is there any outage when I configure the DAG with existing mailbox server ?

I will install the update on the older server when the DAG configuration competed to avoid any outage.
Architect
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
before installing new servers, get existing servers on CU16, then install new servers

Once you installed new servers, DAG would come in picture when you try to add new servers mailbox databases to DAG, the dynamic quorum will get shuffled when you add new servers in DAG depending on your mailbox server count (odd \ even)
If server count is odd, quorum will change from file share witness to internal shared quorum
This will not create any problems

post that you can move mailboxes to new active database on new servers and it should work, u need to test that
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Author

Commented:
Hi Mahesh,

My understanding is that when I apply the CU16 to the existing mailbox server, I'm risking outage and email flow interruptions, hence I'm building DAG to avoid the outage.

This is what I'm proposing to do:
  1. Deploy 2x VM on Windows Server 2012 R2 patched to the latest.
  2. Install Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Mailbox server role
  3. Install CU16 on the 2x new mailbox server role
  4. Configure the DAG with the existing mailbox servers.

my goal is to avoid any email outage by building DAG servers.
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017
Commented:
Here is the answer:

No, you cannot do it. Make sure all servers are running with latest patches, else they will not communicate to each other properly.

Also, you have DAG, so there is no chances for any outage. You first patch passive node, then failover active to passive node and patch it. Which means you need to patch server in passive mode to avoid any outage. I documented similar for Exchange 2010 in below article. Most of the steps will be same, apart from commands.

https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/10389/Steps-for-Upgrading-Exchange-2010-SP1-or-SP2-to-SP3-with-Latest-Rollup.html
MaheshArchitect
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
so you don't have DAG currently, correct?

In that case you can't avoid outage during CU update, you need to plan this activity in off business HRs, probably during night for minimum disruption

Once you updated all existing server CU to latest one, install new servers and then deploy DAG

Once you done that for next CU you don't have to worry about outage

Author

Commented:
Hi Amit,

The reason I introduce the new server here is because, I'm about to setup DAG with the existing Mailbox server which is still on SP1 (no CU).

So I guess, I will have to install the mailbox server with the same level (SP1 only no CU) to be safe to avoid any outage?
MaheshArchitect
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
that will also work, but it will increase your work

U will introduce new servers with SP1 level and then you have to update CU again for all servers including old servers

but if update existing server to latest CU, then you can install new servers directly with latest CU and here u will save work

Author

Commented:
Yes Mahesh, I understand that from your previous post.

The problem is that when installing the CU16 now in my existing Mailbox server, It can cause long outage of email flow, that's not what I want.

hence I'm going this way to make it the same as long as the Mailbox server role is the same version before configuring DAG.

Is it possible to create DAG with the mailbox server running different version of Cumulative Update ?

Author

Commented:
Thanks !

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