Exchange 2010 SP3 Update Fixes Apple iOS 6.1 Sync Flaw
Microsoft this week released Update Rollup 1 (RU1) for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3), which includes a fix for an alarming Apple iOS 6.1 synchronization problem.
The iOS 6.1 sync problem reportedly caused batteries to drain for Apple mobile device users, even while it caused excessive server activity for organizations running Exchange Server 2010 SP3. Microsoft had offered workarounds in February for the problem, but no fix until now. Apple released its own fix for the problem on the client side later that month, addressing a calendar application syncing glitch. Some Microsoft officials had pointed to Apple as the culprit, suggesting that its engineers didn't fully understand client throttling for Exchange. In any case, the fix is now described in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2814847.
The RU1 release, dated May 29, fixes a total of 26 problems that were found either by Microsoft or were reported by its customers since the release of Exchange Server 2010 SP3. In addition to fixing the iOS sync problem, RU1 addresses four other notable issues, according to Microsoft's Exchange team.
RU1 fixes a storage-limit glitch associated with using a manager's mailbox (KB 2561346). A problem with opening a mailbox on another site using Outlook Anywhere is addressed (KB 2756460). An Exchange ActiveSync device synchronization problem (KB 2802569) is addressed. A final key item (KB 2822208) is the elimination of a problem with the "soft" deletion of messages after the installation of Exchange 2010 SP2 RU6 or SP3.
Microsoft describes the 26 fixes in this Knowledge Base article. RU1 for Exchange Server 2010 SP3 can be downloaded at this page.
Microsoft offers a caveat for those organizations that may use the double-byte character set of Windows Server 2012 to run Exchange Server 2010 SP3. In such cases where the default language preference has been set to "non-Unicode programs," RU1 shouldn't be installed before following certain steps, as described by the Exchange team. The team indicated that it plans to fix that problem in a future rollup to come. Also, RU1 shouldn't be applied to earlier releases of Exchange Server 2010 -- it's just for the SP3 version.
Microsoft's general install tips for Exchange 2010 update rollups can be found here.
Update rollups are sequential and have dependencies, so IT shops have to take care when installing them. They aren't the same as cumulative updates, which contain previous updates, even though Microsoft's definitions for the two updates sound the same. Microsoft recently tried to explain its rationales behind the monthly update rollups, which may or may not contain security patches. Some of the releases have been problematic for IT pros when it was found they contained flaws. Microsoft is advising IT pros to perform lab testing of update rollups before deploying them in a computing environment, in addition to backing up the system prior to installation.
While update rollups are released on a monthly release cycle, Microsoft has been hinting that its future Exchange products will see more frequent cumulative update releases, perhaps even on a quarterly basis. This faster cadence is being driven by Microsoft's development efforts on its cloud-based products. However, service packs will still continue to be issued for organizations running on-premises server deployments.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.