Establishing coexistence between on-premises Exchange Server and Office 365 is not easy. And even though Microsoft...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
created a wizard to help with the process, creating a hybrid Exchange Server deployment is still a tall order.
So is it any easier in Exchange Server 2013? Let's take a look at what's involved in deploying a hybrid Exchange Server with on-premises Exchange and Office 365.
Exchange 2013 has a number of features that make it easier to set up a hybrid deployment, including creating a streamlined configuration process. In Exchange Server 2010, running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard was only the first step. After doing so, you had to use a separate wizard called the Manage Hybrid Configuration Wizard. Exchange Server 2013 combines those two wizards.
Microsoft also made the wizard less confusing; the Exchange Server 2010 SP2 wizard dealt with the Client Access server and Hub Transport server selections separately. This confused admins who combined the roles onto a single server. The new wizard only requires administrators to specify mailbox or Edge Transport servers. There are also a number of other improvements to the configuration wizard.
While it's important to consider the amount of work involved in installing a hybrid Exchange environment, it's far more important to consider the impact doing so will have on the long-term management of the organization.
Microsoft succeeded in streamlining the management process. The Exchange Administration Center is used to manage both on-premises Exchange (Figure 1) and Office 365 (Figure 2).
There are only a few differences between the two management consoles. The on-premises version of the console contains links in the upper-left portion for Enterprise and Office 365. The Office 365 version doesn't have the Enterprise link.
A more obvious difference is that the on-premises version of the console contains a Hybrid tab on the bottom left-hand side, whereas the Office 365 version doesn't. This Hybrid tab is the mechanism you use to launch the Hybrid Configuration Wizard and establish a hybrid Exchange Server deployment (Figure 3).
And while the wizard existed in Exchange 2010 SP2, the link to it was buried in the Exchange Management Console under Microsoft Exchange | Microsoft Exchange On Premises | Organization Configuration | New Hybrid Configuration. It's easier to find in Exchange Server 2013.
Creating the Hybrid Configuration Wizard in Exchange Server 2010 SP2 was a good first step in easing the configuration process, but there's a tremendous amount of prep work that had to be done before using it. And while the prep work doesn't go away in Exchange Server 2013, it has been lessened a bit. Now, it mostly consists of configuring AD FS-based identity federation and configuring directory synchronization so that on-premises objects can be synchronized to Office 365.
About the author:
Brien Posey is an eight-time Microsoft MVP for his work with Windows Server, IIS, Exchange Server and file system storage technologies. Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities and was once responsible for IT operations at Fort Knox. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation's largest insurance companies.