Exchange 2010 SP2 Released

Microsoft has released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Exchange 2010.  You can download it from the usual MS download site.  Great care has been taken by Microsoft to ensure that SP2 is high quality, and doesn’t suffer from the issues that affected two roll-up update releases for SP1 earlier this year.

  • A key new feature in SP2 is the hybrid configuration wizard (HCW), designed to automate the setup of hybrid connectivity between an on-premises Exchange 2010 organization and Exchange Online running in Office 365.  Previously, admins had to tweak Exchange settings manually to get this kind of connectivity.  HCW will now do the heavy lifting, and reduce the number of necessary steps. 
  • Another new SP2 feature is Address Book Policies (ABPs).  ABP is an answer to demand from large companies and hosting providers to logically segment their Global Address List (GAL), rather than allowing all users to see the complete GAL.  ABPs allow admins to filter different objects from the GAL and build a customized address book which is assigned to specific mailboxes by policy.  Once an ABP is assigned, the mailbox user can only see and address objects found in their customized view.  ABPs depend on Active Directory and Microsoft provides a schema update to make ABPs available to Exchange.  You will have to apply the schema update in any Active Directory forest where you want to deploy Exchange 2010 SP2.  Schema changes in the past have been problematic, and always seem to cause concern.
  • The reintroduction of Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) will allow small screen mobile phone use.  More interesting to the Asian micro market segment than North American, as our screens appear to have gone in the opposite direction.

Exchange customers should prepare for deployment of SP2 after thoroughly testing within their environments.