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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Works

How to finally decommission your LAST Hybrid Exchange server!

Exchange Server 2019 H1 2022 CU is now available to download.

If you're an Exchange hybrid admin, or an Office 365 global admin, you've probably got one last Exchange server to decommission.

And if you're like me, the prospect of killing off that last hybrid server is just plain scary.

But don't worry—I've got your back!

Here's how to finally decommission your LAST Hybrid Office 365 Exchange server now that Exchange Server 2019 H1 2022 CU is available to download.

The release of Exchange Server 2019 CU12 (H1 2022) marks a major milestone for Microsoft and for those who may have been waiting for this release before removing their last Exchange Hybrid server, there's good news!

The updated Management Tools role eliminates the need to have a running Exchange server for recipient management in this scenario. If you have only a single Exchange server that you use only for recipient management, you can install the updated tools on a domain-joined workstation, shut down your last Exchange server, and manage recipients using Windows PowerShell.

Other notable improvements introduced with this release include:

  • Service Model Changes: Exchange is moving to a release cadence of two CUs per year – releasing in H1 and H2 of each calendar year, with general target release dates of March and September.

  • Exchange Management Tools Update: Exchange Server 2019 CU12 includes an updated Exchange Management Tools role designed to address the specific customer scenario where an Exchange server is run only because of recipient management requirements. The updated Management Tools role eliminates the need to have a running Exchange server for recipient management in this scenario.

  • Hybrid Experience Updates: CU12 includes a change to the Exchange Server License Terms. They've updated the licensing to add a product key for Exchange 2019 hybrid servers at no additional charge! This was previously available only for Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, and Exchange 2016. Exchange Server 2019 CU12 and the Hybrid Configuration wizard have been updated to support this change. CU12 also includes support for using MFA-enabled admin credentials with Hybrid Agent cmdlets. The Hybrid Management PowerShell module now works with MFA-enabled admin accounts.

  • Support for Windows Server 2022: CU12 also introduces support for running Exchange Server 2019 on Windows Server 2022 and in environments that use Windows Server 2022 Active Directory servers.

  • Support for TLS 1.3: By default, Windows Server 2022 uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, the latest version of the Internet's most deployed security protocol. TLS 1.3 encrypts data to provide a secure communication channel between two endpoints.

What this means for you

What does this mean for you? You can finally remove those old servers! If you weren't keeping track, it's been a long time coming. Hybrid environments have not been supported in Exchange Server 2013 since the release of CU24 back in November 2017. Exchange Server 2010 was only supported for hybrid until the release of CU23 back in December 2015.

Now that the support of older on-premises servers has been removed from Microsoft's recipients, there are several common scenarios you will encounter when managing recipients in Exchange server environments:

  • You may be removing an old on-premises server because all your users have migrated to cloud-only mailboxes.

  • You may be transitioning from a hybrid configuration to an all-cloud configuration. This could be because you're moving management away from your organization and into Microsoft's cloud service or maybe because you're moving away from on-premises services entirely.

  • You may need to move users back to an on-premises environment after noticing performance problems with Office 365 tenants, especially if they have a large number of external contacts or send high volumes of emails that aren't routed through their organization's domain (such as through a third party). The steps below outline how these three scenarios would work:

Hybrid is dead!

Yup, the old hybrid is not supported in the latest versions of Exchange Server. This means no hybrid on-premises servers, no hybrid DMZ servers, and no Hybrid Office 365 with Exchange. Microsoft has been slowly phasing out support for this configuration over the past few years. In Exchange 2019, they have finally cut it!

The good news is that you don't need Hybrid to connect your on-premises exchange server with Office 365. You can utilize Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to authenticate against your domain controller in a way that does not require any additional domain controllers or servers on your network. ADFS can authenticate both users and applications from outside of the office or home office environment with the same software that powers single sign-on capabilities for Azure and other cloud services.

If you have Exchange 2010, 2013, or 2016 servers that support hybrid installations, you can now decommission them.

If you have Exchange 2010, 2013, or 2016 servers that support hybrid installations, you can now decommission them.

If you have Exchange 2010 servers that are part of your hybrid deployment, unfortunately, they can't be decommissioned quite yet. Microsoft is working on a fix to allow for that and says it will release it in the near future.

No more Exchange Servers in the DMZ for Office 365 customers

You can now remove your last Exchange server from the DMZ and use modern authentication to enable a direct connection to Office 365 with MFA.

You can get free implementation assistance from Microsoft FastTrack to help you move your workloads to Office 365, including Exchange Online. This service is available for new customers who purchase at least 150 seats of Office 365 enterprise.

Getting started with Exchange Server 2019 H1 2022 CU

Hey, you! Have you been wondering how to:

  • Install the latest cumulative update for Exchange Server 2019?

  • View the requirements for installing this update?

  • Verify that the correct version of Exchange Server is installed?

If so, keep reading. These tasks are easy as pie, and we'll show you how to do them in just a matter of minutes. You'll be ready to say goodbye to your "friend" Hybrid Office 365 Exchange server in no time at all (. But first things first. Let's start with installing H1 2022 CU. Here's what you'll need:

  • A computer running Windows Server 2019 Standard or Datacenter edition with the Desktop Experience feature enabled (or Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter edition)

  • An Internet connection The H1 2022 CU setup wizard will also check your system requirements before proceeding. Microsoft strongly recommends having 4 GB of RAM and 8 GB of disk space available. If your computer doesn't meet these requirements, don't worry—just use a different one. There's probably at least one lying around somewhere in the office these days anyway, right? So now let's get started!

The setup wizard for H1 2022 CU looks just like any other Windows install file—that is, it has an Install button and a Cancel button on it. Clicking either one will take care of everything else until all that's left is restarting your computer and checking its version number to make sure everything went smoothly (which it should have!). Just don't try doing this on an Edge Transport server—that would be bad news bears because there aren't any new features in H1 2022 CU when it comes to Edge Transports...yet (but who knows what exciting things might happen later?).



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