Are we getting ahead of ourselves here? Granted, I’ll give it to them, it’s only the beginning of February. So when Microsoft and their Exchange Team reported a Service Pack 1 Release date of “Early 2014″ we may just be a little impatient. Maybe we should be giving them until the end of Q1 before pounding down their doors with torches and hay forks. While the scheduled release date may still have time, reporting the release date is just as important. It isn’t too impatient of us to expect Microsoft to have firmed up the date, even if it will be later than the projected early 2014. In later November, Brian Shiers of Microsoft answered some questions in the disgruntled comments in regards to a more firm release date:
…We can’t provide a more specific answer at this point as the top priority is quality and we don’t want [to] set incorrect [expectations]. Thanks for your feedback.
What’s the fuss?
For those of us who jumped onto Exchange 2013 from the get-go, the update releases have been much needed. Important fixes have been applied between CU1 and CU3, with some of the biggest and most widely affected issues being repaired in the most recent CU3 released in November 2013. As engineers wait for SP1 (CU4), the expectations are riding particularly high, which is a good thing. Microsoft has set their own bar with the highly effective updates released so far.
Server 2012 R2 Support and Edge Transport Role
Among many of the tweaks and fixes coming with SP1 will be support for the Server 2012 R2 Operating System, which elegantly coincides with the quick to update engineers (sometimes blindly) driving the latest releases of Exchange. Exchange 2013 SP1 will also bring back the Edge Transport Role, an important Exchange design role that helped with bigger deployments in Exchange 2010, once though to be completely done away with as it was not part of the Exchange 2013 initial release. danblee.com’s earlier post about Exchange 2013 SP1 reported that while the Edge Transport Role will be available for use going forward, it will not be mandatory if your environment has decided to gain momentum without it.