Update Outlook before you migrate to Exchange 2013/2016

ehlo!

Many of you use Outlook to connect to your Exchange-Server, right?
When did you last update your Outlook to the latest version? Wow, you installed Service Pack 1 for Office 2013?
If yes than you have a very old version of Outlook.

Microsoft releases monthly updates to Outlook to keep Outlook Up-to-Date for you newest Exchange versions.

If you do not install those updates you can have the strangest errors. Worst case with very versions is that you are not able to connect to Exchange 2013/2016 at all.

My recommendation before starting a migration project: Update Outlook to the latest available version. And it is easy to follow the latest version.

Outlook – latest Hotfixes: Latest available Update for Outlook (MSI-based installation)
Office-Click-To-Run – latest Version: Office Click-To-Run – latest Version

Below you see the latest releases of Outlook 2010/2013/2016

Outlook 2016

Version-Number

Patch

KBArticle

16.0.4288.1000

Oktober 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2910976

16.0.4266.1003 – RTM

16.0.4229.1021 – Beta Preview

Outlook 2013 Click-to-Run

Version-Number

Latest release

Stand Oktober 2015

15.0.4763.1000

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/gp/office-2013-365-update

Stand September 2015

15.0.4753.1002

At least Service Pack 1 with the latest updates.

Outlook 2013

Version-Number

Patch

KB-Artikel

15.0.4763.1000

October 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3085579

15.0.4753.1002

September 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3085495

15.0.4745.1000

August 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3055012

15.0.4727.1000

June 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3054855

At least Service Pack 2 with the following updates.

Outlook 2010

Versionsnummer

Patch

KB-Artikel

14.0.7160.5000

October 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3085604

14.0.7157.5000

September 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3085522

14.0.7155.5000

August 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3055041

14.0.7151.5000

June 2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3054881

 

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

Your Exchange DAG and WAN?

helo!

While many of our customers do have their Exchange nodes well connected some are asking: Can we put the second node of our DAG into a location where we have a hughe TCP round trip time?

The answer is: Yes and No. It depends? This was the answer you are searching for, right?

From a supportability perspective 500ms round trip time is the maximum supported value.

So now it is your decision to install the Node or not. BTW: An easy way to figure out the round trip time is to use pathping or ping. But hey – is ICMP only really the right thing to measure the round trip time?

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

Put your DAG into Maintenance

helo!

You install Exchange Cumulative Updates as soon as they arrive, right? You do your daily job while maintaining Mailboxes and Distribution Groups?.
Now it is time to get in touch with the upgrade-process. While you know the details about PAM/SAM from my other blog posts we can directly head over to installing your next Exchange Cumulative Update.

Important things to note prior the upgrade:

  • Disable the OS Anti Virus Engine
  • Disable/Stop Backup Jobs or Windows Services with Active Connections to Exchange
  • Check your AD Backup with repadmin /showbackup
  • Check your Database Backup with Get-Mailboxdatabase -Status | fl Name,*backup*
  • The the above output for “Backup in Progress” Messages.
  • You use a loadbalancer? The the “Real Server” into Maintenance/Disable the Server on the Loadbalancer for new connections
  • You use DNS Round-Robin? Remove the DNS record for the node you want to patch
  • Be aware for some “Relay” DNS records where SMTP devices will send messages.
  • You use Microsoft Operations Manager (SCOM)? or any other monitoring solution? Put your Server into Maintenance!
So now we can start over, right?
Not yet buddy! First we need to set the PowerShell Execution Policy to unrestricted
Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted
If your Server do not have Internet Access please disable the option “Check for publisher’s certificat revocation”. This will save you hours of waiting.
IE_Revocation

Now lets get started with the fun – ready for copy and paste into your environment:

#Define the Server to update
$Servername="YOUR_SERVERNAME_HERE"
#Define the Server where to move the databases
$ServerToSwitch="YOUR_FQDN_SERVERNAME_HERE"
#Define the DAG Name
$DAGName ="YOUR_DAG_NAME_HERE"
 #Set the components into maintenance
Set-ServerComponentState $SERVERNAME –Component HubTransport –State Draining –Requester Maintenance
#Redirect all Messages to the server available during maintenance
Redirect-Message -Server $SERVERNAME -Target $ServerToSwitch
#PAM/SAM Move
Move-ClusterGroup –cluster $DAGName –name "Cluster Group" –node:$ServerToSwitch
#Suspend the cluster Node
Suspend-ClusterNode –Name $SERVERNAME
#Do not allow to mount databases (PAM and BSCC disabled)
Set-MailboxServer $SERVERNAME –DatabaseCopyActivationDisabledAndMoveNow $true
Set-MailboxServer $SERVERNAME –DatabaseCopyAutoActivationPolicy Blocked
#Set Server Wide Offline for all Components
Set-ServerComponentState $SERVERNAME –Component ServerWideOffline –State InActive –Requester Maintenance
#Move all active Databases to the defined node.

Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase -Server $SERVERNAME -ActivateOnServer $ServerToSwitch

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

BCS and BCSS – well known for any Exchange Admin

ehlo!

You have seen my last post about Active Manager. You are now familiar with PAM/SAM and BSC and BCSS. For all of you haven’t seen the article I’ll follow up on Best Copy Selection (BSC) and Best Copy and Server Selection (BCSS). BSC was the Exchange 2010 name for BCSS as it is called in Exchange 2013.

As soon as the Active Copy of a Database is no longer available BCSS tries to enable the best available copy. There are a few steps included in this process. One step is to decide the best available copy of the database. This will be done by checking the Mailbox-Server AutoDatabaseMountDial Setting. If the number of missing logfiles is equal or less than the value of AutoDatabaseMountDial Exchange tries to mount the database.
If the value is greater Active Manager tries to find another copy (if they are available) to be activated.

And why I’m discussing all this?
Because it is important during planned maintenance to set the Server into Maintenance that PAM knows not to activate that copy of a database. More about Maintenance will be available soon!

 

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter