Top 3 Challenges When Considering an Exchange Hybrid Deployment
“Cut-over” . . . . Even the word itself sounds abrupt. The pressure of preparing all your data, especially your critical Exchange email data, and then trying to move all of it all at once without creating disruption for users is neither a trivial project nor a welcome prospect.
With Office 365 becoming cloud of choice, email migration becomes a primary concern. Many are choosing to begin with a hybrid deployment in which some mailboxes are moved to the cloud while others remain on the company’s existing Exchange server.
A hybrid approach can accommodate the way any organization grows, organizes and operates in any setting, under any circumstances. A key reason for going hybrid is that the hybrid approach helps organizations avoid placing all of their eggs in one basket. Having all your data in a single place makes you vulnerable to outages, and it also puts you at the mercy of your access to a particular physical or virtual location.
For others, the reason for starting with a hybrid deployment is simpler. The less you have to move at one time, the less the risk of error or data loss. Migrating groups of mailboxes on a scheduled basis over a period of time also dramatically reduces the likelihood of introducing disruption for the users. It also gives administrators more time to more closely examine email content that may be better moved off to archive and take advantage of the migration as an opportunity to reduce storage.
There are three obvious challenges in the deployment of a hybrid environment which must be considered:
Setting up and configuring a hybrid environment in which some mailboxes are on premise and others in the cloud is a complex task requiring knowledge of directory and federation services. These allow the administrator to manage the location, data transport, and security considerations.
Once the hybrid environment is established, it must be carefully monitored and managed. There are many opportunities to economize and gain substantial efficiencies, but a lack of proper vigilance can result in outages and workflow disruption.
There is no single established standard methodology documented and validated by Microsoft. Assuring the robustness of every Office 365 end user’s experience, as well as those whose mailboxes remain on-premises, is critical to the success of your deployment. Monitoring the entire hybrid environment in real-time, allowing administrators to proactively ensure the best possible end user experience.
Whether you want to connect your Exchange on-premises and Exchange Online organizations for long-term coexistence or as part of a cloud migration strategy, a hybrid deployment offers 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. A hybrid deployment provides the seamless look and feel of a single Exchange organization between an on-premises Exchange organization and Exchange Online. In addition, a hybrid deployment can serve as an intermediate step to moving completely to an Exchange Online organization.
Exchange Hybrid and Office 365 Monitoring and Reporting
On-premises components, such as AD FS, PTA, and Exchange Hybrid are critical for Office 365 end user experience. In addition, something as trivial as expiring Exchange or AD FS certificates can certainly lead to unexpected outages. By proactively monitoring hybrid components, ENow gives you early warnings where hybrid components are reaching a critical state, or even for an upcoming expiring certificate. Knowing immediately when a problem happens, where the fault lies, and why the issue has occurred, ensures that any outages are detected and solved as quickly as possible.
AmyKelly Petruzzella is a marketing executive who focuses on Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Active Directory trends, challenges, and business outcomes for enterprises. Over the years, AmyKelly regularly engages with Gartner industry analysts, and she has been recognized several times for Top 50 Microsoft Marketing Excellence. She is a frequent speaker and blogger and an industry veteran who advocates for women in technology.
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