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Exchange 2010 – we hardly knew you!  For most people reading this, that’s probably pretty far from the truth.  For the 9 years since Exchange 2010 reached general availability on November 9, 2009, Exchange 2010 has played a major role in  a large number of enterprises that I have had the opportunity to engage with.  Exchange 2010 signified the beginning of the modern era in Microsoft’s email server offering with Database Availability Groups (DAGs), Client Access Server Arrays, and the ability to install individual Exchange Server roles on separate servers.

Well, fellow Exchange 2010 admins, the source of so much joy and productivity will reach End of Support on January 14, 2020, Exchange Server 2010

What this means is that as of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for problems that may occur
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches
  • Time zone updates

Given e-mail’s continued high importance in business communications, this means that responsible IT departments need to be planning right now to replace Exchange 2010 as soon as possible. But with what?  Here are some solid guidelines to determine if you should continue to support Exchange on premises or if you should move to Office 365:

  • If you do not have hardware load balancers in place for mail flow and client access, you clearly do not have the resources needed to maintain Exchange on premise. Begin your process for migration to Office 365 right now.
  • If you do not have at least one DAG with 3 copies of each database – two on site and one in a Disaster Recovery site, you clearly do not have the resources needed to maintain Exchange on premise. Begin your process for migration to Office 365 right now.
  • If you do not have the proper number of ADDITIONAL Global Catalog Servers to support your Exchange environment per Microsoft’s Best Practices, you clearly do not have the resources needed to maintain Exchange on premise. Begin your process for migration to Office 365 right now.

So Steve … when should I be looking at maintaining Exchange on premises, if you keep saying I don’t have the resources to maintain Exchange on premise?  Good question!  There are several specific reasons to maintain Exchange on premises:

  • You have users in countries where privacy laws make comingling those mailboxes with mailboxes for users in countries where the company owns the mailbox data
  • Your compliance or legal department will not permit company data to leave the organization’s physical location (a permanent hybrid solution could be used here to segregate just those mailboxes specified by Compliance or Legal)
  • Your email users do not have any way to access the Internet such as on a US government secret classified network
  • Your leadership tells you to (You can use several client case-study examples to show them the business benefits of O365!)

With all that Office 365 has to offer and with the long-term reduced staffing, equipment, licensing, and environmental costs, NOW is the time to make the move to Office 365!  If you do have the need to retain an on-premise presence, make absolutely certain to follow Microsoft’s Best Practice recommendations and give Exchange the resources it needs to perform with excellence! With under a year left, a migration off of Exchange 2010 needs to be underway RIGHT NOW!

 

About the author:

Steve Selick is a Senior Architect with CloudView Partners. Steve brings over 20 years of experience with leading consulting and systems-integration companies (Top 5 Microsoft Gold Partner) designing, implementing, and supporting large, complex migrations to the public cloud (Azure, O365, IBM Cloud) as well as within private infrastructure. Steve Selick has deep expert-level knowledge of Cloud architecture, Azure, Office 365 solutions, Microsoft solution stack, and Enterprise architectures.

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