Microsoft previews Autopatch, delays Exchange upgrade

Microsoft final week introduced {that a} preview launch of its new Windows Autopatch service is now out there for enterprises.

This enterprise service was first revealed in April, when Microsoft stated that it will be accessible to all prospects with a Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3 licence or above. Patching for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 tenancies may even be carried out as a part of Autopatch function, the corporate stated.

Microsoft is anticipated to announce the final availability of Windows Autopatch function subsequent month.

The major purpose of the Windows Autopatch is to alleviate IT directors of the load of month-to-month updates by transferring it to Microsoft.

“The takeaway in the event you’re an IT admin? You can proceed utilizing the instruments and processes you are accustomed to for managing and deploying updates—or you possibly can take a hands-off method and let Windows Autopatch do it for you,” said Lior Bela, a senior product advertising and marketing supervisor at Microsoft.

“Changing the best way issues get executed, even when that change makes issues simpler, offers pause to most individuals who run giant IT organisations.”

By taking part within the public preview, IT admin might familiarise themselves with the brand new service earlier than it’s rolled out throughout their organisation.

Admins should take the next steps to enrol a tenant within the Windows Autopatch public preview:

  • Log in to Endpoint Manager as a Global Administrator and go to the Tenant Administration menu to find the Windows Autopatch blade. In the absence of correct licences, admins will not see ‘Windows Autopatch.’
  • To redeem your public preview code, use an InPersonal or Incognito browser window.
  • Complete the readiness evaluation, present your admin contact info, and add units.

According to Microsoft, the managed service will start by deploying upgrades to a restricted variety of units earlier than increasing its attain to different machines.

Updates shall be utilized throughout 4 deployment rings in a company community.

To get issues began, a small set of “check” ring shall be employed, earlier than transferring on to the “first” ring, which is considerably greater and accommodates 1% of all units beneath administration.

According to Microsoft, the “quick” ring accommodates round 9% of all endpoints, whereas the “extensive” ring accommodates the remaining units.

Autopatch additionally has options like Halt and Rollback, which prohibit adjustments from being despatched to increased rings or rolled again mechanically, respectively.

However, Autopatch won’t cowl all of an organization’s patching necessities, in line with Microsoft.

The Microsoft Edge browser and Microsoft Teams collaboration service, for instance, have their very own patching procedures and usually are not included within the Autopatch service.

Moreover, Microsoft has no intentions to make Autopatch accessible to authorities prospects, and it is not out there to tutorial (A3/A5) prospects both.

There are not any plans to help Windows 365 for Business and Windows Server with Autopatch.

Microsoft previously stated that Autopatch had no specific {hardware} necessities, though all units should have processors which might be nonetheless supported by their respective chipmakers.

As per the announcement, “bring-your-own-device (BYOD) situations usually are not at present supported” by Autopatch.

A appropriate and up-to-date model of Windows 10 or 11 have to be put in on all corporate-owned units along with a sound Enterprise E3 licence.

Devices are required to be managed utilizing both Microsoft Intune or Configuration co-management, and customers accounts have to be managed by Azure Active Directory or Hybrid Azure Active Directory Join, in line with Microsoft.

New Exchange Server launch delayed till 2025

In September 2020, Microsoft stated the following model of Exchange Server could be out there within the second half of 2021, nevertheless it has now put again the deliberate launch after state-sponsored hackers efficiently focused Exchange situations in tens of 1000’s or companies worldwide.

On-premises Exchange server bugs turn into a serious challenge of concern for Microsoft in 2021. Redmond attributed the attacks to  state-sponsored threat actor Hafnium, a extremely refined group considered primarily based in China.

The firm issued a collection of patches for the on-premises electronic mail server in 2021, and says it should proceed to supply prolonged help to the 2016 and 2019 variations till October 2025, and Exchange 2013 till April 2023, however says the deliberate new model will now be delayed till 2025.

“We have moved the discharge date for the following model of Exchange Server to the second half of 2025,” Microsoft stated in a roadmap update.

“The subsequent model would require Server and CAL licences and shall be accessible solely to prospects with Software Assurance, just like the SharePoint Server and Project Server Subscription Editions.”

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