Service Pack 2 for Exchange Server released

SP2 for Exchange Server 2007 provides a new backup capability via Windows Server and improved Exchange Server 2007 auditing.

Microsoft has released the latest service pack for Exchange Server 2007, adding new features that will interest IT professionals.

Service Pack 2 for Microsoft's e-mail server can be downloaded here. The new service pack is supported on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems.

SP2 for Exchange Server 2007 provides a new backup capability via Windows Server, improved Exchange Server 2007 auditing, a "more efficient" quota management system and new cmdlet (pronounced "command let") parameters. In addition, Microsoft added a feature that makes it easier to update Active Directory (AD) schema, which is called "dynamic Active Directory schema validation." A complete list of the new features can be found here.

Exchange Server uses AD, a Windows Server component that helps manage and track user identities and relationships on the system. However, those wanting to install SP2 for Exchange Server 2007 need to update the AD schema first before installating the service pack.

"You must prepare Active Directory and each domain before you perform the first installation of Exchange 2007 SP2 in an organization," according to the release notes for Exchange Server 2007 SP2.

Users can either upgrade to SP2 or do a clean install of the service pack. However, if an IT shop has upgraded the operating system to Windows Server 2008, then Microsoft doesn't support a subsequent upgrade to Exchange Server 2007 SP2. There's also a problem of upgrading to SP2 and then subsequently upgrading the OS to Windows Server 2008, according to Microsoft's release notes.

The release notes provide even more mind-bending caveats for IT pros to ponder before installing this service pack. And as if that wasn't enough, the release notes point to knowledge base articles for users installing this service pack on Windows Small Business Server 2008 (KB 973862) and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (KB 973461).

Fortunately, there's some installation help for SBS and EBS users. A blog post by the Microsoft Essential Business Server team provides a graphical walk-through on how to install the new service pack. Small Business Server users can find SP2 install help here.

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