I got an email today asking me as to how long the upgrade from Exchange 2010 to SP2 should take. The Exchange admin who sent me the email mentioned that the process was too “slow” for him and was wondering what the issue was.
I should state that there is nothing wrong in the process and that the steps executed as part of the upgrade takes a while to complete. Why does it take this long, you may ask. The reason why it takes longer is because it has to do two schema upgrades. Yes, you heard me right, two!
The first one is upgrading the Active Directory schema, adding more classes and attributes to AD. The second one is the Exchange database schema upgrade. With SP2, the schema of the database is “changed” or “upgraded”. This was the case with 2010 SP1 as well. In short, whenever you jump to a service pack from a lower one (including RTM), the database schema is changed.
For the same reason, a database running on Exchange 2010 SP2 server cannot be mounted on any lower level 2010 mailbox servers (RTM or SP1).
Hope this clears the confusion around “slowness” in the upgrade process. Just leave the setup running & as long as you don’t get any errors, you are good