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Microsoft releases long-awaited Exchange 2013 CU7

The recent Exchange update includes a long-awaited fix for public folders, updates to previous versions of Exchange and a delayed security fix.

Microsoft released Cumulative Update 7 for Exchange 2013 this month, providing a long-awaited performance upgrade for public folders.

The update, which was originally expected in November, was delayed due to errors discovered at the eleventh hour.

With this release, the on-premises version of Exchange 2013 now supports up to 250,000 public folders, according to a Microsoft statement. While this is nowhere near the one million public folders the company promised to support, it is still a 2.5X increase over the 100,000 public folders Exchange 2013 currently supports.

Exchange 2013 CU7 also included changes to Offline Address Book (OAB) distribution.

Earlier this year, Microsoft changed how OABs are generated in Exchange 2013. It added a "Shadow Distribution" feature, which allows the arbitration mailbox responsible for generating one OAB to host shadow copies of another OAB. As a result, OABs can be downloaded from different mailbox servers, enabling a more efficient download of the OAB in distributed environments.

Microsoft also solved a potential problem with backups, and recommended that companies install Exchange 2013 CU7 and perform a full back up afterward to remove any potential issues associated with restoring a previously backed up database. There isn't much information available about what these challenges are, but this update stresses the importance of testing backups by periodically restoring them. I have backed up databases with earlier versions of Exchange 2013 and was able to restore without any issue. Chances are only specific scenarios apply, but it's worth heeding Microsoft's recommendation.

For organizations using Unified Messaging in Exchange 2013, Microsoft also released new UM Language Packs for Cumulative Update 7.

Additional updates for Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010

In addition to Exchange 2013 CU7, Microsoft also released Update Rollup 8 for Exchange 2010 and Update Rollup 15 for Exchange 2007. Security updates that address a vulnerability disclosed in MS14-075 were also released. However, the security update is available for Exchange 2013 Service Pack 1 (CU4) and Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 6 -- not Cumulative Update 5. Those customers should plan to move to Cumulative Update 7 as soon as they can.

For more information about these updates, Microsoft has released detailed statements about what you should expect to see.

About the author: 
Michael Van Horenbeeck is a technology consultant, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Exchange MVP from Belgium, mainly working with Exchange Server, Office 365, Active Directory and a bit of Lync. He has been active in the industry for 12 years and is a frequent blogger, a member of the Belgian Unified Communications User Group Pro-Exchange and a regular contributor to The UC Architects podcast.

This was last published in December 2014

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