Thinking of installing Exchange 12 CTP build into your production environment?

Seeing that the Exchange 12 CTP build has been available for some time now, we have learned that some of our customers that are not on Exchange 12 TAP program have been installing Exchange 12 into their production environment.


Unfortunately, those experiments came to us as problems that affected production Exchange servers. While we have been working to fix those situations - it is an unnecessary problem that could have been avoided.


If you have access to Exchange 12 CTP build or even are a part of the Exchange 12 Beta program, DO NOT install Exchange 12 into your production environment. Exchange 12 will extend your Active Directory schema and it will change permissioning on Exchange organization and other objects which, in this early stage, might cause interoperability issues.


Just to give you a little bit more information: with our TAP customers, we go through a very specific process to make sure that there are no issues when Exchange 12 is joined into production. We review a lot of information about each and every environment, and even then, some customers can not install our current Exchange 12 builds into their production environments yet. Exchange 12 is Beta code. As such, it has not been extensively tested in all possible configurations and results of installing it into the existing Organization can lead to unexpected results.


We want to strike a balance between releasing early builds so that our customers can see the product and give us feedback and ensuring that our customers have a good experience with the product. When our instructions about an early build being for testing only are ignored, customers can have a bad experience and it makes it harder for us to decide to release early builds because we don't want those situations to happen.


What you of course can do, is install Exchange 12 in the lab and test it there... you can test coexistence too (meaning, having Exchange 2003 servers in the same Org) but this should be in your labs only.


- Nino Bilic

Comments (10)
  1. Aaron M. Hall says:

    This seems like a no-brainer to me… I wouldn’t dream of putting an early beta or preview into major production!

  2. Anonymous says:

    As some of you maybe aware, the March edition of TechNet Plus included a CTP version of E12. I just want…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Today this list is longer, since I hadn’t the time to post it last week. Sorry…

    Exchange on NAS:…

  4. Rune3 says:

    "no-brainer", huh?

    I’m about to deploy a new Exchange installation, and I can either choose 32-bit Windows 2003 and the old Exchange version (and upgrade both as "12" arrives), or I can install 64-bit Windows and 64-bit "12" beta and only upgrade Exchange when the release arrive.

    So… Just how much does the Active Directory changes affect a small organisation with no prior Exchange installations?


  5. Exchange says:


    The right answer is definitely – choose 32 bit Windows with Exchange 2003 to run in production. Unless you are on TAP program for Exchange 12, we do not have really a way of supporting you.

  6. Rune3 says:

    I’m not necessarily looking for support, I’d just like to know that installing "12" won’t destroy my Active Directory beyond all repair.

    It would be very strange if even beta 1 won’t run on a small&simple network involving one Win2k active directory server. (we have 15 users btw — can’t get any smaller than that)

    At home I dual-boot between 32-bit and 64-bit Win2003 Server. I’m not at all convinced that upgrading a Exchange 2003 Server is going to be a milk-run. (and I do hairy stuff like sharing the same user profile between the two) A little active directory repair seems less daunting.

    I’m almost tempted to berate you guys for not adding some 64-bit support into Exchange 2003. You’ve made this (how to be polite?) an "interesting" choice… ;)

    Besides, the little 32-bit -> 64-bit Win2003 Server "upgrade" would set us back a few quids, now wouldn’t it?


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