At the end of this video, the student will learn how to update an Exchange Server 2016 to the latest Microsoft updates and minimize downtime. Updates can bring down Exchange during the update process, so it is important to know the proper sequence of events for updating.
- [Instructor] Let's discuss in Exchange Server 2016 how to apply the latest Microsoft updates and minimize down time. Updates can bring down Exchange during the update process, so it's important to know the proper sequence of events for updating. First let's discuss the two different types of updates there are. The first one is service packs. Service packs tend to be complete re-installations of Exchange using new code that they've added for additional features.
In most cases, you could even install Exchange Server 2016 from the service pack rahter than going to to the .iso file or the Exchange DVD. Service packs will absolutely bring down the server during the update process and that time varies based on the speed of your Exchange Server and how filled up the hard drives are. Typically, it's about a 20 minute process on an average server. The next type of update is the cumulative update.
Cumulative updates tend to add all of the different security and feature updates that were sent out on an individual basis into a single update. Cumulative updates don't bring down the server for as long a period of time, typically, but they do tend to have more issues than service packs. And this is because the updates were all created separately and then put into one big package. Whereas the service packs are all done at the same time and tend to flow a little bit better with less issues.
The cumulative updates are far smaller overall than the service packs, but they can bring your server down, usually for less time, typically about 10 minutes on an average Exchange Server. You may end up applying many cumulative updates over the course of your Exchange Server's life, but maybe only one or two service packs. There are also security updates as well that get sent out on an individual basis. Typically, these are not part of the Windows update process.
And that's where the WSUS, or Windows Server Update Services Server, comes into play. With WSUS, you can install all of the Exchange updates and receive those updates and approve them before they get pushed out. Without WSUS, you'll be going out to Microsoft Exchange's update service website on a regular basis just to see if there's any new updates. You can check out Microsoft's WSUS on technet.microsoft.com for complete directions, but let's take a look in Windows Server 2012 on where to find WSUS.
We're in our Exchange Server on Windows Server 2012, although this could also be on Windows Server 2016. From here, we're gonna click on the add roles and features link. And click next. And next. Until we get to the server roles. From here, we can click on the Windows Server Updates Services and when we do we will see features that will be required, which we will click add features. Then we will follow through on the installation.
And you have a couple of options to pick from. One is the database, one is the services, and the other is the database itself. The WID database differs from the database in that the WID database is a type of SQL server that is just for Windows internally. So it stand for Windows Internal Database. The database portion itself is the database used by WSUS, as opposed to the database used by Windows.
And the services part of the update service is simply for authentication and synchronization. You next have the option to store the updates in any particular path. Keep in mind that this could be terabytes of information depending on what options you choose to download. So make sure you have a lot of space available for whatever path you choose. The good thing is, you could also choose a path on another server. This is all we're gonna show on WSUS in this particular video.
You can check out technet.microsoft.com for additional information. Now let's talk about Exchange downtime. You do need to plan for Exchange downtime. One of the ways to do that is to install the cumulative updates or the service packs after hours or whenever the time is in your organization where Exchange is not being heavily used. The next thing to consider is having a database availability group for high availability.
And we've talked about this in other videos, both in deploying Exchange Server 2016 and some additional videos we'll be showing in administering Exchange Server 2016 coming up. This allows multiple servers to host Exchange Server. So you could have one of these servers offline while Exchange continues to operate. When one of these servers is offline, you can run the updates and the service packs and in any other patches you would like to do, including Windows updates as well.
This way, the users will not experience any downtime because of the additional servers that are synchronized for high availability. You'll also want to discuss a change management meeting procedure with the organization that you're in. This includes getting together with department heads and telling them what you're going to do, how long it's going to be down, the estimated time, and the contingency plan in case things don't go back up after the updates are applied.
Change management meetings can decrease the amount of stress in an organization when changes need to be made to your Exchange Server 2016 set up and it also allows you to help plan for problems before they actually occur. By planning for and executing Exchange updates, you will be able to avoid critical downtime to your organization and keep your Exchange Server up to date.
Need to set up Exchange Server for the first time? Check out Robert's previous course, Deploying Exchange Server 2016.
Note: This course maps to the certification exam for Exchange Server 2016. Review the course and exam blueprint for the Exchange Server 13 exam here and here.
- Reviewing the Exchange Control Panel
- Managing the Mailbox role
- Configuring permissions and delegates
- Managing and troubleshooting mail transport
- Troubleshooting SMTP mail flow and domain security
- Designing an Exchange SLA
- Backup and recovery
- Planning high availability
- Troubleshooting connectivity