Last week Microsoft released Windows Management Framework 3.0, a key management component that includes WinRM 3.0 and Windows PowerShell 3.0. If you’ve been running a version of Exchange 2007 or later, you may already know that these components (PowerShell for Exchange 2007, and both WinRM 2.0 and PowerShell 2.0 for Exchange 2010) are prerequisites for installing these versions of Exchange.
WMF 3.0 is not compatible with Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010. Some organizations reported issues with both these versions of Exchange after they installed WinRM 3.0.
It’s a best practice to test patches and updates in a non-production environment that mimics your production environment and server builds, including any third-party software you may have installed on your production servers. This is true for not only the server OS, but also any critical pieces of infrastructure such as DNS servers, ISA/TMG servers or firewalls, etc. where high availability is require and any unplanned down time is frowned upon.
More specifically in this case, WMF, is also an important prerequisite for Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010. According to Exchange 2010 Prerequisites, WinRM 2.0 and PowerShell 2.0 are required to install Exchange 2010.
- If you’re running Windows Server 2008 R2, PowerShell is installed by default.
- You can’t install Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 on Windows Server 2012, which was released earlier this year. See Windows Server 2012 and Exchange on the Exchange team blog.
Before updating an operating system component that’s a prerequisite for an application such as Microsoft Exchange, it’s always a good idea to first check with the vendor if the application is compatible with the updated component. This should be done in addition to testing the new update in a non-production environment and testing a rollback procedure (e.g. uninstalling the update) if any issues are found. Most mature IT organizations follow these best practices for patch and update management.
The Exchange team would need to test WMF 3.0 and release any updates for Exchange 2007 & Exchange 2010 to be compatible with it. (Exchange 2010 SP3 and an Exchange 2007 update, required for Exchange 2013 coexistence, are on track for release in Q1 2013. There have been no announcements so far if either updates will add support for WMF 3.0.)
When issues with such updates surface, the Exchange product team informs customers via the Exchange team blog (short URL: aka.ms/ehlo) and on Twitter. If you use Twitter, you can follow @MSFTExchange, the official Twitter alias of the Exchange product group and the #MSExchange hash tag, which is commonly used by the Exchange community for related tweets.