Microsoft Exchange team said that that routine product updates to Exchange Server 2013 will now be distributed via quarterly Cumulative Updates (CU's).
In a blog entry, the team notes that "Each quarterly CU package will be released as a full refresh of the Exchange product and will be installed as a build to build upgrade. Build to build upgrade is already familiar to Exchange customers as this is the mechanism used to deploy Service Packs in previous Exchange versions."
"The version of Exchange shipped to on-premises customers in each CU will be the same version we use to host Exchange Online on Office 365. Security updates will be delivered via independent packages that can be applied to a previously released Cumulative Update package or installed during the upgrade to the current Cumulative Update package," the team added.
Primary benefits of this approach include:
- "Predictable release cadence - CU's will be delivered on a pre-determined schedule four times a year allowing customers to plan their deployments more deliberately. Lync and SharePoint also release CU's at a regular cadence.
- Dedicated security releases - Independent security releases will allow customers to quickly install an update with confidence knowing that only the fixes which address a particular problem will be included. In the event there are multiple security releases required for a particular CU, all fixes will be delivered in a single package simplifying the deployment of multiple security fixes.
- Datacenter scale validation - On-Premises and Hybrid customers will be able to deploy CU's knowing that the same code is already deployed in the Exchange Online service and has been validated against millions of mailboxes in the world's largest and most demanding Exchange installation.
- Improved support for hybrid deployments- System requirements will be better aligned because the on-Premises server and datacenter servers will be running identical code.
- More rapid changes to language resources - In the RU model, language modifications to releases were limited to Service Pack releases. With the CU model, updates to language resources will be available in each release," informs Microsoft.
Microsoft also released today an updated Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java. The February 2013 Preview release now include "ability to deploy JDKs, servers, and user-defined components from external sources instead of including them in the deployment package when deploying to the cloud."
Other minor updates included with this release are "for components, cloud publishing and Windows Azure properties."
Get the updaed plugin here.