Exchange 2013 DAG CU19 Upgrade

Here is the step that I will do to upgrade the Exchange 2013 to CU19, with the new .NET Framework 4.7.1.

Exchange 2013 has a different servicing strategy than Exchange 2007/2010 and utilises Cumulative Updates (CUs) rather than the Rollup Updates (RU/UR) which were used previously. CUs are a complete installation of Exchange 2013 and can be used to install a fresh server or to update a previously installed one. Exchange 2013 SP1 was in effect CU4, and CU18 is the fourteenth post SP1 release. Updating from any CU to any CU is supported, however to the best of my knowledge Microsoft only tests updates from N-2 builds. For example, when Microsoft released CU19, they would test the update process from CU17 and CU18 as they were the previously supported builds. It means that when we are updating from CU10 to CU19, it’s possible that we will encounter some problem that Microsoft has not identified in their testing. Although that risk exists, in my opinion, it has diminished over time as the quality of the Exchange 2016/2013 code has improved. Microsoft best practices are to keep the Exchange upgrade with the two last version available, so now we should have been at CU17 or CU18, but since we are not, the best approach, in my opinion, is go directly to CU19.

After the Exchange 2013 CU16 the .NET 4.6.2 is a requirement, and to make a smooth transition, the CU15 was working with .NET 4.6.1 and .NET 4.6.2, so we could upgrade the .NET without getting big downtimes.

Since the CU15 is no longer available the bridge has washed out, so we need to upgrade the .NET first and then the Exchange.

How to Upgrade from Exchange 2013 CU10 to CU19 on DAG Members

  1. Backup/Snapshot of all Server
  2. I will check if the databases are healthy (Check the links below for more information about this step)
  3. Put one node in Maintenance mode (Check the links below for more information about this step)
  4. Reboot the Server
  5. Install .Net 4.7.1
  6. Reboot the Server
  7. Disable the Antivirus
  8. Install the CU19 (This step will take between 1 hour to 2 hours) – Note: We need to make sure there is disk space available, it makes sense to extract the CU to another drive than C: drive.
  9. Reboot the server after the successful CU installation.
  10. Wait a few minutes for the servers to get sorted, and check if the databases are healthy (Check the links below for more information about this step)
  11. Remove the server from Maintenance mode (Check the links below for more information about this step)
  12. Re-check if the databases are healthy (Check the links below for more information about this step)
  13. Repeat the same steps to update the Other DAG member

More information for the Steps 2,3,10,11 and 12 on this links below:

Technet: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee861125.aspx

Simple instruction: https://enterpriseit.co/microsoft-exchange/install-exchange-update-rollups-on-dag/

Installation failure recovery

Experience will show whether this is a major concern or not. Update rollups are usually able to roll back seamlessly if they encounter an error. Whether the cumulative update failed installation recovery process becomes a burden or not, only time will tell.

Some Items for Consideration

  • Make a full backup of the Exchange servers
  • The customs customisations can be lost, especially on the OWA
  • Third-party software integrations

Exchange .NET Framework Support Table

I believe that is all, the important things that we need to think about, off course, Microsoft have made it much simple the Exchange upgrades, and normally this runs smoothly, but be sure that you have a full backup of the servers.

Best of luck and hope this can help you.

Exchange

Exchange 2010/2013 CU stuck at Languages install

This simple solution can save you a lot of time.

This issue can happen on the upgrade of Microsoft Exchange 2010 and  2013 when you apply a CU. The upgrade gets stuck at Languages, step 9, forever.

It turns out that the solution is very simple, this happens because System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection was installed on the server automatically by the SCCM, and this software uses the “Same Engines” for Languages.

Solution:

  1. Uninstall the Endpoint Protection on the server.

After uninstalling the Endpoint Protection, the Exchange update will continue.

When you do the upgrade of the Exchange CU finish, you can restart the server and install again the Endpoint Protection.

Hope this saves you some time!

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Search message tracking logs

Message tracking records the message activity as mail flows through the transport pipeline on Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers. You can use the Get-MessageTrackingLog cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell to search for entries in the message tracking log by using specific search criteria. For example:

  • Find out what happened to a message that was sent by a user to a specific recipient.
  • Find out if a transport rule acted on a message.
  • Find out if a message sent from an Internet sender made it into your Exchange organization.
  • Find all messages sent by a specified user during a specified time period.

This example searches the message tracking logs on the local server for all entries from 2/20/2018 8:00 AM to 2/20/2015 5:00 PM for all FAIL events where the message sender was sender@mutega.se

Get-MessageTrackingLog -ResultSize Unlimited -Start “2/20/2018 8:00AM” -End “2/20/2018 5:00PM” -EventId “Fail” -Sender “sender@mutega.se”

This example searches the message tracking logs on the local server for all entries from 2/20/2018 8:00 AM to 2/20/2015 5:00 PM for all emails sent to to@mutega.com where the message sender was sender@mutega.se

Get-MessageTrackingLog -ResultSize Unlimited -Start “2/20/2018 8:00AM” -End “2/20/2018 5:00PM” -EventId “Fail” -Sender “sender@mutega.se” -Recipients “to@mutega.com”

More info (Source article): https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124926%28v=exchg.160%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396