According to the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog Exchange 2007 Service Pack 2 will become available in Q3 2009. For those that will continue to run Exchange 2007 well beyond the release date of Exchange 2010, which is slated for the second half of 2009, will of course want to apply the Service Pack as part of normal operations. Those that plan to deploy Exchange 2010 into an existing Exchange 2007 organization are also encouraged to deploy Service Pack 2 prior to deploying the first Exchange 2010 server. Updating Exchange 2007 to SP2 is not going to be a mandatory step to install Exchange 2010 as prerequisites will be available independent of SP2 but it will be a requirement for Exchange 2007 to interoperate with Exchange 2010. Interoperability is of course going to be important to much organization deploying Exchange 2010.
Obviously the benefits of deploying Exchange 2007 SP2 are farther reaching than a simple means by which we can transition to Exchange 2010. Administrators will benefit from new features of SP2 as well. These features include:
Centralized Organizational Settings – PowerShell has a new option that enables centralized management of many of the Exchange organization settings.
Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation – To prevent future deployment issues caused by schema conflicts, the dynamic AD schema update and validation feature will support dynamic schema updates and proactively prevent conflicts whenever a new property is added to the AD schema.
Enhanced Auditing – A new repository will be created for Exchange auditing events to make it easier for Exchange administrators audit the activities occurring on their Exchange servers.
Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality – The long awaited backup plug-in will now be available for Administrators to create Exchange backups with the Windows Server 2008 Backup tool.
Named Properties cmdlets – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to monitor their named property usage per database.
New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging– You will now have a choice of where to go when you want to enable diagnostic logging. Both RTM and SP1 versions of Exchange 2007 required that you use the Exchange Management Shell (EMS). Now you will be able to use the GUI.
Public Folder Quota Management – PowerShell cmdlets have been enhanced to allow administrators to perform quota management tasks on public folders.
Exchange 2007 Service Pack 2 will also be supported on Small Business Server 2008. However the SBS team at Microsoft has some identified some issues Installing Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP2 on Windows Small Business Server 2008. The SP2 install causes problems in some web services of Windows SBS 2008. They have provided manual steps to work around the issues which are available in KB 973862. They are also working on a setup tool for Exchange 2007 SP2 specifically for SBS 2008 that will illuminate the manual steps. So you may want to wait for this tool to become available before installing SP2 on SBS 2008 to ease the process.
Author: Richard Luckett