How to update an Exchange 2010 database availability group

Updating database availability groups is an important part of the Exchange service pack installation process. Learn the steps necessary to update your DAG.

I need to apply a service pack to an Exchange Server 2010 database availability group that is in a clustered Exchange...

2010 mailbox server, but I'm not really sure about the process. Can you please advise?

Sure, there are just a few steps to accomplish what you're trying to do:

  1. Move all the active database copies off of one of the database availability group (DAG) members so that the Exchange 2010 mailbox server only contains passive database roles. If the target server currently holds the primary Active Manager role, you must move that role to another DAG member.
  2. Put your Exchange 2010 mailbox server into maintenance mode and verify that there is nothing running that might be potentially disruptive to your upgrade.
  3. Verify the health of your DAG. To do so, run the script Microsoft recommends on its TechNet page.
  4. Upgrade the DAG member.
  5. When the upgrade process completes, bring the database availability group member back online and upgrade the next DAG member in the clustered Exchange 2010 mailbox server.

Remember, it is normal for your DAG to contain a mixture of patched and unpatched Exchange servers for a certain period of time. In the case of a service pack, you can move a database copy from a nonpatched server to a patched server. You can’t however, move a database from a patched server to a nonpatched server. This is extremely important as you plan your DAG member upgrade sequence.

Brien Posey is an eight-time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien worked as a CIO at a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.

This was last published in October 2012

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