TechEd North America 2012 is coming and folks on the Exchange team will be there to talk to you about Exchange hybrid deployments and Exchange Online migrations! We've gotten a lot of questions on hybrid deployments, especially after releasing Exchange 2010 SP2 with the Hybrid Configuration Wizard and updating the Exchange Deployment Assistant with more streamlined instructions to deploy hybrid - so here are some answers.

Ben Appleby and I recently did a three-part TechNet Radio set of video podcasts to shed additional light on hybrid topics as part of the "Road to TechEd 2012" series.  These podcasts should help provide some insights into our hybrid TechEd sessions if you're attending TechEd but also provide solid guidance and information if you're not going this year.

  1. We dive into discussing migration options for you on your journey to the cloud in Office 365 Migration Options and Choosing a Hybrid Exchange Deployment. Everyone's business and IT needs are different -  whether that means moving to the cloud over a weekend or migrating over a few months. Hybrid is special because it can serve a couple of distinct goals:
    • To migrate all of your mailboxes to Exchange Online while maintaining a great experience for your end users such as availability of free/busy calendar data and preservation of headers so MailTips and OOF messages look right between on-premises and online users. Some of you need to take a more measured approach to the cloud  but keep users productive as you work with business timeframes and constraints - such as change moratoriums during holiday periods for retail organizations or as you test and update LOB applications to work with Office 365 services.
    • Keep mailboxes on-premises and online  for a longer period with the ability to move mailboxes back and forth between the two environments seamlessly. The City of Rome expects to maintain some servers and mailboxes on-premises for a longer period of time in order to leverage the rest of their IT investment so hybrid is an ideal deployment state.
  2. The second podcast is How the Hybrid Configuration Engine Works in Exchange Server so you can get an idea of what the Hybrid Configuration Wizard actually does once you click 'update' and trigger the Update-HybridConfiguration cmdlet to start the hybrid configuration engine.  We'll cover this a little more in depth during TechEd 2012 as well as provide a demo of the updated wizard.

  3. The final podcast is FAQ's and Common Gotchas with a Hybrid Exchange Deployment which covers important topics you should be aware of. In this episode, Ben mentions the Exchange Online Migration Performance Guide Whitepaper which is a great reference point. Or if you sometimes neglect to read documentation really carefully (like me, whoops!), I highly recommend checking out Understanding Certificate Requirements for Hybrid Deployments on TechNet.

Hopefully those podcasts give you a taste of some of the amazing content that's coming your way at TechEd 2012 this month as well as reference points  that dive into some key hybrid topics.

Here are the migration and hybrid TechEd sessions you should check out:

TechEd North America

  • EXL302: Exchange Online Migration - Ram Poornalingam
  • EXL303: Configuring Hybrid Exchange the Easy Way - Neil Axelrod

TechEd Europe

  • EXL302: Exchange Online Migration - Ben Appleby
  • EXL303: Configuring Hybrid Exchange the Easy Way -  Ben Appleby

We'll also be at MEC and we'll be excited to talk to you later in the year on these topics as well. So if you haven't registered already and want to chat with us about hybrid, migration and Exchange 15, go do it!

Ann Vu