Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1: What you need to know

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If you assumed that the first service pack for Exchange was just a collection of hotfixes, let me assure you that it is ever so much more.

What’s in it?

This SP has everything:

  • Support for Windows 2008 Server
  • Active Directory schema updates
  • New replication options: Standby Continuous Replication (SCR)
  • Additional functionality that didn’t make it into the RTM (release to manufacturing)
    • More complete Exchange Management Console (EMC)
    • Many enhancements to Web Services
  • Support for native IPv6 networks (Windows 2008 environments)
  • The ability to export a mailbox to a PST file from the command line

Important! About Windows 2008 support:

Even though Exchange 2007 SP1 supports 2008, it will not support a Windows 2008 upgrade. What this means is that if you’re running Exchange 2007 RTM on Windows 2003, you’ll not be able to install SP1 then upgrade the server 2008. Of course this also means you’ll not have the ability to upgrade to Windows 2008 on the RTM either. So if you plan to run Exchange on 2008 server you’ll need to at least uninstall Exchange prior to the upgrade or better yet just build it up from bare metal. Plan accordingly!

Things to keep in mind before updating:

  • Windows 2003 must be running service pack 2 prior to the update.
  • Install .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 before updating.
  • Source files should be stored locally on the server you’ll be upgrading. This is due to the fact that the setup application is a .NET 2.0 application which requires source files to from a trusted local source. But don’t worry, if you install from a network location, the files will be cached locally during the installation automatically.
  • To update Active Directory you’ll need “Schema Administrators” and “Enterprise Administrators” rights.
  • To upgrade the first server, you’ll need to be a member of the “Exchange Organization Administrators” role and local administrator rights. Additional servers require you to have local administrator rights.
  • There are 2 ways to deploy the SP, the first of course being the standard wizard (GUI) as well as from the command line. This is especially helpful if you wish to script portions of the domain preparation if you have a large forest of domains.
  • Any post RTM hotfixes will not require an uninstall. The service pack will identify and remove these prior to installation.
  • Upgrade Client Access Server roles prior to upgrading other roles. This ensures that the ActiveSync, OWA Premium, OWA light and POP3/IMAP components can correctly display content to remote users.

More Resources

I’ll not bore you with the step-by-step walk-through but when you’re ready for the upgrade, please follow the steps outlined by Microsoft and the good guys over at MSExchange.org.

Here’s some more useful links regarding Exchange and/or Exchange SP1:

Cheers and good luck!

Jonathan Connery MCSE+I, MCSD
Senior Systems Architect
Infrastructure Optimization Team

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