Keep Your Hybrid Exchange Server Environment Supported

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Collaboration

It is rare for an Exchange Server administrator to have never opened a case with Microsoft’s Support group. To save time during these encounters, it helps to be in a supported state before you pick up the phone. But how do you know if your systems are in a supported state? 

Searching Exchange Server Product Lifecycle Search, we can see the current lifecycle for existing Exchange Server products. (If you’re still running Exchange Server 2010, you are running out of time to upgrade!) 

Product Mainstream Support End Date Extended Support End Date 
Exchange Server 2010 January 13, 2015 October 10, 2020 
Exchange Server 2013 April 10, 2018 April 11, 2023 
Exchange Server 2016 October 13, 2020 October 14, 2025 
Exchange Server 2019 January 9, 2024 October 14, 2025 


Starting at 
Hybrid deployment prerequisitesMicrosoft states that “Hybrid deployments require the latest Cumulative Update (CU) or Update Rollup (RU) that’s available for your version of Exchange. If you can’t install the latest update, the immediately previous release is also supported.”  

Current Versions of Exchange

Visit Exchange Server build numbers and release dates tsee what the current release of each product is. At the time this was written, here are the current supported releases: 

Product name Release date Build (short format) Build (long format) 
Exchange Server 2019 CU5 March 17, 2020 15.2.595.3 15.02.0595.003 
Exchange Server 2019 CU4 December 17, 2019 15.2.529.5 15.02.0529.005 

 

Product name Release date Build (short format) Build (long format) 
Exchange Server 2016 CU16 March 17, 2020 15.1.1979.3 15.01.1979.003 
Exchange Server 2016 CU15 December 17, 2019 15.1.1913.5 15.01.1913.005 

 

Product name Release date Build (short format) Build (long format) 
Exchange Server 2013 CU23 June 18, 2019 15.0.1497.2 15.00.1497.002 
Exchange Server 2013 CU22 February 12, 2019 15.0.1473.3 15.00.1473.003 

 

Product name Release date Build (short format) Build (long format)
Update Rollup 30 for Exchange Server 2010 SP3 February 11, 2020 14.3.496.0 14.03.0496.000 
Update Rollup 29 for Exchange Server 2010 SP3 July 9, 2019 14.3.468.0 14.03.0468.000 

Dependencies

Exchange Server is built on Windows Server; it requires .NET Framework, and it depends on Active Directory. Before doing any new deployments or installing a Cumulative Update (CU)review the  Exchange Server supportability matrix to ensure that your new software is deployable and supported.  

The above is especially relevant when deploying a much newer CU than is currently deployed. I was recently reminded of a case where a customer had an RTM version of Exchange Server deployed. They wanted to bring it up to a supported CU, but the newer CU required them to raise their Active Directory functional levelUnfortunately, they couldn’t do it because their domain controllers weren’t at the required level. 

Now that we know where we need to be, let’s find out exactly where we are now. Let’s verify the current deployed versions. 

Verify Exchange Server Version

To check your version of Exchange Server, open Exchange Management Shell and run

GCM exsetup |%{$_.Fileversioninfo}

You can reference the product version against the list of builds located here: Exchange Server build numbers and release dates 

Verify .NET Framework Version

To check the version of .NET, open PowerShell (or stay in your already-opened Exchange Management Shell) and run

(Get-ItemProperty “HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full”).Release

Check the result against the list of .NET framework versions here: Detect .NET Framework 4.5 and later versions 

Verify Windows Server Version

To check your Windows Server versionopen PowerShell (or stay in your already-opened Exchange Management Shell) and run

systeminfo /fo csv | ConvertFrom-Csv | select OS* 

Verify Active Directory Forest and Domain Functional Levels

To check your Active Directory functional levels, open PowerShell (or stay in your already-opened Exchange Management Shell) and run

(Get-ADForest).ForestMode

(Get-ADDomain).DomainMode

Is your environment supported? If you aren’t sure, or you would like some help determining your next step, please reach out to Peters & Associates at info@peters.com.