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Microsoft Ignite 2020 – Exchange Updates

Joseph Hoegler

2 min read

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If you are running Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 and are still on-premises, you may be considering whether to stay on-premises or move to Exchange Online. After almost 25 years of history, there will be some significant shifts to Exchange Server.

New version of Exchange Server on-premises will be released

  • The target is the second half of 2021 and will align with new on-premises releases of SharePoint Sever, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server
  • On-premises server platforms will only be available via a subscription license – the license will entitle access to support, product updates, security, and time zone patches
  • Office will also have a new release in the second half of 2021

Next version of Exchange Server will support in-place upgrades from Exchange 2019

  • This will be supported for a period of approximately two years from release
  • The last time an in-place upgrade was supported was from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003 – side-by-side migrations have been required since that point
  • The goal is to ease migrations from Exchange 2019 into the subscription release
  • Microsoft recommends that all Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 environments that plan to remain even partially on-premises upgrade to Exchange 2019 over the next year – this will prepare for an easier transition to the subscription release next year
  • Side-by-side migrations will still be supported and may be the most appropriate path for a client depending on specific factors (e.g. hardware upgrade, significant architecture change, etc.)

Next version of Exchange Server will support coexistence with Exchange 2013 through Exchange 2019

  • This has historically been only two versions back – Microsoft is keeping coexistence supported for Exchange 2013 unexpectedly

Cross-tenant migration in Public Preview

  • Currently, to migrate from one Exchange Online tenant to another one (think a merger/acquisition), mailboxes had to be fully offboarded from EXO and then migrated to the new tenant or a third-party tool was required
  • This new feature will avoid the offboard/onboard approve and mostly eliminate dependencies on on-premises components

You can read the full official announcement at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/exchange-team-blog/exchange-news-and-announcements-microsoft-ignite-2020-edition/ba-p/1662224 and learn in more detail at the Ignite session at https://aka.ms/MicrosoftIgnite2020/Exchange/Sessions/0033.

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