"Can I install Exchange 2010 Beta in production?"

This question comes up during every Beta release (see here and here) and we have again seen it pop up in both Exchange 2010 forum as well as on our blog. The short answer is: No!

Many people know that we run several customer test programs, and as part of those programs, we have customers that are running pre-release code in production. Those programs and deployments are closely supervised, monitored and supported. Note however that a public Beta release (such as this one) is NOT such a program, and you SHOULD NOT install Beta code into your production environment!

Exchange Server 2010 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 if Exchange organization is not ready for it.

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.

We are glad to see excitement around new Exchange 2010 features, but please - test them in the lab only!

- Nino Bilic

Comments (8)
  1. russell says:

    Really?  Does someone really ask this question?  Those Administrators should be banned from touching their corporate networks!

  2. mike says:

    You are not being progressive enough.  You need to try new things.  :)

  3. GoodThings2Life says:

    To be honest, I’m *finally* getting my own Exchange 2007 system at my current job (I’ve done 2007 rollouts for a few other businesses previously), and if it weren’t for the fact that part of my current business includes a hospital, I would have seriously considered applying for one of the supported beta programs! Much of the new functionality and changes are of immediate interest to me, so it would be great to have a direct role in testing them out and offering real feedback to the Exchange team.

  4. Ed says:

    The simple answer is "YES", you can install any software on your production LAN. Now, would I? Of course not, Russell is right on!!!

    Exchange is not a toy, and these so called "Administrators" should know better. They should instead go work at Walmart and free up those positions for real Administrator that may be un-employed at the moment.


  5. Kristofer says:

    At many companies that dont have a TAP agreement you still run some form of Lab environment, often its used to test out new features on a "copy" of the production environment.

    A beta early on can create a business advantage for sure in providing knowledge on the product given.

  6. Kanchana says:

    God shake no… You can install it in a Lab and test the product but not in a production. If you going to test Betas in production you will end up an disaster.

  7. Vern says:

    Hi all.  I’m new to Exchange admin and I’d like to do a test conversion from Exchange 2003 SP1 to Exch 2010 in a lab.  I have a couple of available hyper-v servers.  My goal is to run the 2003 to 2010 migration in the lab to get comfortable with all of the steps and also to see what issues might arise.  I’d like to restore a copy of our production Exchange 2003 mailstores from a backup onto a test server and do the conversion.  In order to restore to the lab environment I assume I have to be on the same domain since all of the users are in AD.  If so, what steps are needed to create the lab environment?  Do I create a new AD forest on an isolated network and then restore my production AD database into it, and then restore my Exch 2003 databases, or is there an easier way?  

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