We're happy to announce that the Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant (ExDeploy) now includes updates for supporting hybrid deployments with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) organizations and the latest release of Office 365.

Important information to know about the SP3 update for the Exchange 2010 hybrid deployment scenarios:

  • Updated information is available only in English at this time. Support in additional languages will follow shortly.
  • We’ve removed the qualifying question about existing Forefront Online Protection for Exchange for on-premises organizations. Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), now known as Exchange Online Protection (EOP), is no longer a limiting factor in hybrid transport routing options. Organizations no longer need to request that their existing EOP service be merged with the EOP service provided with the Microsoft Office 365 tenant. The EOP services are merged automatically and do not require any additional configuration.
  • We’ve also removed the limitations on configuring centralized mail transport in the Manage Hybrid Configuration wizard. Centralized mail transport in hybrid deployments can be configured regardless of existing EOP service configuration.
  • If you have previously configured a hybrid deployment using ExDeploy and Exchange 2010 SP2, you’ll need to take a few basic administrative actions as part of updating your hybrid deployment for the latest release of Office 365. See Understanding Upgrading Office 365 Tenants for Exchange 2010-based Hybrid Deployments for more details.

We’d also like to remind everyone that we’ve released the Exchange Server 2013 Deployment Assistant for those organizations that want to take advantage of the features of a new Exchange 2013 installation and for Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 organizations that are interested in the benefits of an Exchange 2013-based hybrid deployment. See Now Available: Exchange Server 2013 Deployment Assistant.

Exchange 2010-based hybrid deployments offer Exchange 2010, Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003 organizations the ability to extend the feature-rich experience and administrative control they have with their existing on-premises Microsoft Exchange organization to the cloud. It provides the seamless look and feel of a single Exchange organization between an on-premises organization and an Exchange Online organization in Office 365. In addition, hybrid deployments can serve as an intermediate step to moving completely to a cloud-based Exchange Online organization. This approach is different than the simple Exchange migration (“cutover migration”) and staged Exchange migration options currently offered by Office 365 outlined in E-Mail Migration Overview.

About the Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

The Exchange Server Deployment Assistant (ExDeploy) is a web-based tool that helps you upgrade to Exchange 2010 on-premises, configure a hybrid deployment between an on-premises and Exchange Online organization or migrate to Exchange Online.

Screenshot: Exchange Deployment Assistant home page
Figure 1:The Exchange Deployment Assistant generates customized instructions to help you upgrade to Exchange 2010 on-premises or in the cloud

It asks you a small set of simple questions, and then based on your answers, it provides a checklist with instructions to deploy or configure Exchange 2010 that are customized to your environment. These environments include:

  • Stand-alone on-premises Exchange installations and upgrades
  • Hybrid deployment configurations and
  • Cloud-only Exchange deployment scenarios.

Besides getting the checklist online, you can also print instructions for individual tasks and download a PDF file of your complete configuration checklist.

Your feedback is very important for the continued improvement of this tool. We would love your feedback on this new scenario and any other area of the Deployment Assistant. Feel free to either post comments on this blog post, provide feedback in the Office 365 community Exchange Online migration and hybrid deployment forum, or send an email to edafdbk@microsoft.com via the Feedback link located in the header of every page of the Deployment Assistant.

Exchange Deployment Assistant Team