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Download Exchange 2010 SP1? – What You Should Know Before Installing

Before you download exchange 2010 SP1 to upgrade your exchange server 2010 installation, there are several points to consider, before installing the software.

Are you aware that once you have installed Exchange Server 2010 with service pack 1, you will also need to install Exchange Server Roll up Update 6, for Exchange server 2010?

I am an Industry professional who has worked with Exchange Server since it’s’ inception. When I use the term since its inception, I am referring to one of the earlier versions of exchange mail server software,version 5.5.I have worked along with countless upgrades regarding exchange server, and Active Directory, just to name a few.

If you are an exchange administrator, then you should know what an exchange server is.Just in case you have accidentally accessed this article while searching for the meaning of exchange server, I will briefly explain.

Basically, Exchange Server is an email platform that serves email to users who use similar free email platforms, like Hotmail and Gmail.These free email server providers also uses some kind of email servers in their back office, to service their free email clients.

Since I have mentioned Active Directory in one of my earlier paragraphs I will briefly explain what Active Directory is used for.In fact Exchange Server will not work without Active Directory.

Active Directory is a service developed by a popular software vendor to facilitate secure access to resources on a network.Active Directory also allows the sharing of resources like printers, documents and other hardware items to users.Exchange server relies heavily on Active Directory.

Several days ago, I attempted to upgrade our current Installation to the latest release of Exchange Server 2010 software, with exchange 2010service pack 1, but experienced issues in reference to the replication service that ran in the background. The replication service “crashed” continually,almost every day.

I then proceeded to do some research in reference to the issue that I was experiencing, and discovered that many users worldwide experience this same issue.The only way that this issue could have been resolved was to install another patch.The name of the patch was Exchange Server Roll up Update 6.The lesson was that you cannot upgrade Exchange to Service Pack 1 without installing the Roll up Update.I guess this is how we all acquire experience when using a product.

If you are an exchange administrator, then you should be aware that the replication this service is required to replicate databases to other servers in the environment, when using the Database Availability Group feature of the software.

Again, if you are new to exchange server, the Database Availability Group feature is a feature that allows administrators to setup redundancy for their Servers by copying their databases to several servers in their environment.This feature allows the administrator to recover very quickly from a system failure.

Exchange Server 2010 SP1 is also required to fix an issue in reference to memory leaks, when using Windows Server 2008 Operating System.The four of our mail Servers experienced a memory leak because of the missing patches.

Because of this memory leak, my Server‘s memory allocation were improperly distributed.The task manager showed that the Memory usage continued to ran around 90% to 97% usage continually.This was not a good position to be in as an administrator.The Server potentially could have malfunctioned at any time, if the patch was not installed.

The service that was consuming about one gigabit of memory should only have consumed about half of this amount normally.If this problem was not corrected immediately then clients would have experienced very slow performances when accessing their email, with their outlook client, or other compatible mail client software.

As an Exchange Server administrator you would have also have begun to notice an abundance of RPC communications errors, recorded in the system logs, as a result of the memory leak.I will explain RPC errors in another article. RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call.

To eliminate some of the many issues that you may experience when you attempt to download Exchange Server SP1 to upgrade your existing Exchange Server 2010 environment, you should also download Roll up Update 6, the same time.


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Is Exchange Sever Really The Best Email Server?

Even the best email server will experience problems every so often.  This week I experience a very minor problem regarding my exchange server.  All of our servers, at our establishment would continually show high memory usage between 90 % to 97 % on a continuous basis. When I say memory usage, I am not referring to the CPU.  My CPU was okay, running continuously between 1% and 4% usage, which was very good, and normal.

As an IT Professional you will experience issues from time to time.  If you do not experience any issues, then you will never achieve any experiences in you field.  Experiencing problems as and IT professional, are a part of our IT routines.  Please do not misunderstand.  You will have many days of “smooth sailing”.  In fact your “smooth sailing” days will surpass your problem days.

Let me tell you a little about our environment, before I explain further the problem that I was experiencing. We have four servers, or four nodes running Windows Server 2008, Enterprise addition. As I also mention in one of my earlier articles, we are running in my opinion, the best email server software, which is Exchange Server 2010.  This is Microsoft Corporation latest release, at the writing of this article.

Two of our server’s hardware are HP DL380 G6, with twelve Gigabits of memory.  The other two servers are HP also, but slightly older, with about 4 gigabits of ram installed.  The servers are running in a four node DAG configuration. The term DAG is an abbreviation of Database Availability Group, just in case you are not familiar.

At first when we noticed the problem, we taught that there may have been a fault with the server.  On further investigation we discovered that the four server were experiencing the same problems.  As you may be aware exchange server 2010 has basically five server roles.  Hub, Edge, Client Access, Mailbox, and Unified Messaging.  We have deployed four roles on each of our servers, excluding the Unified Messaging role.  At first we taught that since all services were running on each box that we had to add more memory to the systems.  We were so wrong.

I begin researching using Google and Microsoft website and came across an Article that suggested that we may have been experiencing something known as a Memory leak on each server.  This appeared to be a common problem with the initial release of exchange server 2010. The problem is more evident if Exchange is being used with a Blackberry Server.  This in fact true with our establishment.  We do have a Blackberry server installed in our environment.

I proceeded to open a case with Microsoft to assist me with the correction of this issue. That is one of the reasons I truly believe that exchange server is the best email server for all times.  Microsoft really supports what they have created.

Every year at my company, we purchase support in the form of Microsoft 5 Pack support to assist us through the year, if we experience issues.  I had two incidents remaining on our contract that was due to expire the next day.  I proceed to use the two remaining support incident with the first issue, and proceeded to open another case to attend to another issue that I was experiencing.  I was not about to let two incidents go to waste.

Microsoft really delivered and proceeded to assist me with the first incident.  The thing I love about Microsoft Support is that they will support you until the problem is resolved.

What Microsoft recommended to me was to install Exchange Server SP1 and install the roll up update 6 to the server to resolve the issues.  I proceeded to complete the tasks as they had assigned.  Presently I have install both fixes on my two older servers and the problem disappeared.  My challenge now it to install the same updates on my primary servers.

Here are the two updates that Microsoft Recommended.

Update Roll Up 6

Exchange Server SP1

I could have attempted to resolve it by myself, but what would that have profited me.  I learned a long time ago that there are no “loan rangers” in the IT field.  If you work alone you will eventually be destroyed.  So as you can see, this is why I always say that Exchange Server is the best email server, in my opinion.



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Best Email Server – What Is Hosted Exchange

In one of my previous articles on the best email server I focused mainly on the best email server from the perspective of software, for email services. In this article I will be focusing on the best email server from the perspective of Hosted Exchange Services.

Have you ever heard of the term “Cloud Computing“?  Basically   Cloud Computing is having all of the tools that you need to run a business in one central location.  Hosted Exchange services is one of those services that uses the technology of cloud computing.

What is Hosted Exchange, and how can this benefit you as a small businessowner, or even a medium to large size business owner? Hosted Exchange services from the perspective of the best email server, has allowed business owners, and personal users alike, the ability to out source their email services, to reliable and reputable sources outside of their companies.

Could you imagine having access to you emails from anywhere, and every where in the world?  Your contacts and appointment calendars are available for access 24/7, without the use of you internal IT staff.

Your email servers are located of site in a secure and protected area. When I mention you email servers, I am referring to the servers that the hosting company assigns to you.You do not need to purchase any sort of hardware to be able to utilize hosted exchange.

No need to worry about backing up you data when using hosted exchange services.  The company that is supplying this service takes care of the headaches of backing up, and restoring your data.

The best email server infrastructure in the form of hosted exchange, will give you the ability to use powerful email servers without worrying about purchasing servers to keep onsite.  Your IT expenditure is reduced tremendously, when you use hosted exchange for your email needs.

If you are looking for the best email server for your email needs and do not want the headache of setting up expensive servers, and the maintenance of those servers, then hosted exchange services may work for you.

As I said in one of my previous articles, I am an Industry professional with over fifteen years’ experience using email, and know what I am talking about.

At the company where I am presently employed, we are using servers on site to take care of our email needs.  Our servers are setup using MicrosoftExchange Server 2010, utilizing a technique called “The Dag” for redundancy.

I have to ensure that our servers are backed up daily and maintain properly to assist with our email needs.

Exchange Hosted services will eliminate the headaches of maintenance. Maybe I will suggest this service to my Director one of these days in the not too distant future, but what will I do on a daily basis, if this happens?

Using the best email server does not mean that you have to deploy expensive hardware and software on site.  The cloud technology using hosted exchange will eliminate this. Hosted Exchange services can be setup using any vendor that is in the market offering this service.Even Microsoft Corporation, the creator of Exchange Server software offers this service.

At the company where I am employed we are basically a Microsoft shop.We use all of their services for maintain our business.