Exchange admins have been waiting with bated breath for the release of Exchange 2013 CU1, the version that will finally let us play with a mixed Exchange 2010/2013 environment. We might even get to throw a little 2007 in there! CU1 was supposed to be released during Q1 2013, which in case you hadn’t noticed, ends this Sunday. While it looks like Microsoft won’t quite make it in Q1, cut the guys a break-a two day delay is in our best interests!
In a posting on the Microsoft Exchange Team blog, Microsoft’s Ross Smith IV announced that, while the release of CU1 would not be during Q1, it would be released two days later, on April 2. While it is possible that the date might slip again, I expect that it won’t. Smith goes into some detail on the posting about why the need for a couple of more days.
Microsoft has been testing CU1 for probably months, in both lab environments and production. That production has included Microsoft’s own corporate email systems, and customers enrolled in the Technology Adoption Program, or TAP. During the last pass of testing coexistence with Exchange 2010, an issue was identified. While Microsoft could have proceeded with releasing CU1 and then requiring customers to make a change on their Exchange 2010 CAS servers to work around this issue, the decision was instead made to implement a change in code on CU1 so that customers would not have to make any more changes to their Exchange 2010 system than absolutely necessary.
As an Exchange 2010 admin, I appreciate this decision. The less I have to do in production to start introducing Exchange 2013, the better, and making a change on existing production systems would require more change controls, more testing, and generally, a lot more effort than simply tweaking a setting or editing a registry key might imply. By making the fix in CU1, it’s that much less we’ll have to worry about in production, and that is good for everyone. A two day slip is really a non-event to me, since whether they released it on Friday the 29th or Tuesday the 2nd, it will be well into next week before most of my customers could even consider starting their deployments.
For those of you who are anxious to deploy, remember the following.
- New Exchange org-you can start with Exchange 2013 today.
- Existing Exchange 2010 org-you need to apply Exchange 2010 SP3 to all your Exchange 2010 servers and then you can start to build your first Exchange 2013 systems when CU1 is released next week.
- Existing Exchange 2007 org-you need to apply Exchange 2007 SP3 RU10 to all your Exchange 2007 servers and then you can start to build your first Exchange 2013 systems when CU1 is released next week.
We’ll keep a close eye on the availability of Exchange 2013 CU1, and will post any updates as soon as we can, or the link to download once the bits are available.