Exchange Server 2019 To Get Final Updates in 2024
Organizations running Exchange Server 2019 won't be getting an H2 cumulative update (CU) this year, a Microsoft announcement this month explained.
Microsoft is planning to defer the release of the next Exchange Server 2019 CU release, CU14, until sometime after Jan. 9, 2024, which happens to be day when Exchange Server 2019 will fall out of its "mainstream support" phase. Moreover, Microsoft also plans to release another and final CU for Exchange Server 2019 after CU14 in 2024, namely CU15.
Microsoft has a biannual H1 and H2 update scheme for Exchange Server products, typically releasing these updates around March and September. Consequently, given this year's slipped schedule with the H2 release getting deferred, CU14 will be known as version "H1 2024" for Exchange Server 2019, while CU15 will be known as version "H2 2024."
The slipped schedule occurred due to Microsoft's patch priorities, which are affected by security update scheduling, and its practice of not releasing Exchange Server CUs in December. However, Microsoft also addressed the seemingly paradoxical notion that it will be releasing two CUs after Exchange Server 2019 exits its mainstream support.
Most people might think that CUs stop arriving when the product exits mainstream support. Microsoft's announcement noted that Microsoft itself typically says that "products in extended support don’t get CUs." However, the announcement claimed that just requested bug fixes and design changes get halted after the mainstream support phase of a product ends.
Here's how the Exchange team explained how Exchange Server 2019 will be affected by exiting mainstream support:
Using Exchange 2019 as an example, the end of mainstream support is on January 9, 2024. That's not the deadline for the release of CUs. January 9, 2024, is the last date you can request a bug fix or a Design Change Request (DCR) and have the Exchange team consider it.
In its comments section, Microsoft further explained that should there be problems with the CUs released next year for Exchange Server 2019, then Microsoft may still address them with a patch, even post-mainstream support.
"'Extended support' does not mean 'no support,'" wrote Nino Bilic of Microsoft. "It means 'no new features are considered after X date' and 'security updates are still supported.'"
Logic aside, Microsoft is basically saying that its last two Exchange Server 2019 product updates will arrive next year, after mainstream support ends, which most people might not have expected per Microsoft's past practices and rules enforcement.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.