Microsoft has released new cumulative updates for Exchange Server 2016 and 2013 this month, announcing:
- Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 3 (download)
- Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 14 (download)
These releases follow last week's release of critical security updates for Exchange. The cumulative updates announced for Exchange 2016 and 2013 today include those critical updates. For Exchange 2010 and 2007 the update releases last week were packaged as update rollups instead.
The new CUs for Exchange 2016 and 2013 deliver some significant changes:
- Exchange Server support for Windows Server 2016 has been announced. Make sure you read the guidance carefully, it is not simply a case of all Exchange versions supporting installation on Windows Server 2016 or use with Windows Server 2016 domain controllers. For customers that have been waiting to deploy Exchange 2016 until Windows Server 2016 support is available this is good news, however we still need to wait for the general availability of Windows Server 2016, which will likely be announced at Ignite 2016 this month.
- .NET 4.6.2 support is included for Exchange 2016 CU3 (or later) running on Windows Server 2016. At this time no other versions of Exchange are supported with .NET 4.6.2, so be careful not to allow it to install on your Exchange servers, until the planned December 2016 update releases. However, Microsoft has announced that .NET 4.6.2 will be required for Exchange 2016 and 2013 on all supported operating systems from March 2017 (which will be when another round of cumulative updates are released).
- One of the features of Exchange 2016 announced before RTM, but that was not included in RTM, is “Read from Passive” which is an improvement in the database content indexing that allows database availability group members to build their index from a passive database copy, instead of copying the index data from the server hosting the active database copy (except for lagged database copies). Microsoft estimates that in some environments this will save as much as 40%, and has updated the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator to reflect this change.
- Exchange setup will no longer set server component states to an inactive/offline status during pre-requisite checks. This is a significant improvement in the update installation experience for customers, because it means that a pre-requisite check failure will not leave the server in a non-functioning state.