Exchange Server 2010 End of Support Is Coming Soon
All Microsoft products have a support lifecycle which typically lasts 10 years from the date of the product`s initial release. During the lifecycle Microsoft provides consumers with new features and security updates.
Exchange 2010 was the last to host legacy public folders and on October 13, 2020 Exchange Server 2010 will reach end of support. This means no more security updates and major compliance vulnerabilities for organizations who do not move off this version of Exchange Server.
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
Do I need to upgrade?
The end of extended support does not mean that your Exchange Server 2010 will suddenly stop working. Installations of Exchange 2010 will continue to run after this date. However, because of the changes listed above, we strongly recommend that you migrate from Exchange 2010 as soon as possible.
As a reminder, if Exchange Server 2010 is running on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, it’s important to consider how you will obtain security updates for the underlying operating system too. Please read more about your options here .
What are my options?
With Exchange 2010 reaching its end of support, the only way to mitigate risks is a migration. If you haven’t already begun your migration from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 or Exchange 2016, now’s the time to start your planning. There are two most reliable destinations:
1. Migration to Office 365.
Migrating your email to Office 365 is your best and simplest option to help you retire your Exchange 2010 deployment. Office 365 receives new features and experiences first and you and your team can usually start using them right away. Upgrading to a new version of Exchange – you’re always on the latest version of Exchange in Office 365. When choosing a migration option, you need to consider a few things like the number of seats or mailboxes you need to
move, how long you want the migration to last, and whether you need a seamless integration between your on-premises installation and Office 365 during the migration.
- A cutover migration basically moves the whole mailbox database to Office 365. It is great method for small organizations that don’t have very many mailboxes, want to get to Office 365 quickly, and don’t want to deal with some of the complexities of the other methods. It is strongly recommended to complete a migration in a week or less and migrate a maximum of 150 mailboxes with this method. The users will have to reconfigure their Outlook profiles.
- Express migration will help you migrate a few hundred mailboxes and complete the project within a couple of weeks. You can control how many, and which mailboxes are migrated at a given time. Office 365 mailboxes will be created with the username and passwords of their on-premises accounts and, unlike cutover migrations, your users won’t need to recreate their Outlook profiles.
- Hybrid migration allows you to connect your on-premises environment with the cloud. This option is the right choice for your organization if you have many hundreds of mailboxes and you want to move some or all of them to Office 365.
Full hybrid migrations aren’t suited to all types of organizations. Due to the complexity of full hybrid migrations, organizations with less than a few hundred mailboxes don’t typically see benefits that justify the effort and cost needed to set one up.
2. Migration to Exchange 2016.
If you choose to keep your email on-premises, you can migrate your Exchange 2010 environment to Exchange 2016. Exchange 2016 includes the features and advancements included with previous releases of Exchange, and it most closely matches the experience available with Office 365. If you do want to stay on-premises don’t forget that you cannot upgrade directly from Exchange 2010 on-premises to Exchange Server 2019 . You can upgrade to Exchange 2013 or 2016 directly from Exchange 2010 and we recommend you upgrade to Exchange 2016 if you have the choice.
What if I need help?
If you have a complex deployment, or if you simply don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to a project like this, there are plenty of ways to get help:
- Firstly, if you are migrating to Office 365 and Exchange Online, you may be eligible to use the free Microsoft FastTrack service. FastTrack provides best practices, tools, and resources to make migration to Office 365 and Exchange Online as seamless as possible. Best of all, you have access to a support engineer that will walk you through your migration, from planning and design all the way to migrating the last mailbox.
- Secondly, if you run into any problems during your migration to Office 365 and you are not eligible for FastTrack, or if you are migrating to a newer version of Exchange Server, try Microsoft support or the Exchange Technical Community.
- Thirdly, you also might choose to engage a partner to help you.
With Exchange Online and Office 365 you’ll get access to the most secure and productive software. If you migrate fully to Office 365 you really don’t need to worry about ‘big bang’ version upgrades any more. You just have to keep a much smaller number of on-premises servers up to date, and you’re good.