Hybrid Deployment

So part 3 of this blog series is all about the benefits of Exchange 2010 SP2 Hybrid wizard. To recap in Part 1 I setup my lab environment, in Part 2 (let’s just forget about Part 1.5) I documents my setting up Single Sign-On (SSO). As I mentioned in one of the previous Parts, sorry long weekend of getting this done and writing about it, I used a great website from Microsoft, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exdeploy2010/default.aspx#Index the Exchange Deployment Assistance site! This is a great resource to help plan and document the steps you need to do for any Exchange Migration, not just a move to the cloud. As of now it has not been updated to include the Exchange 2010 SP2 Hybrid Configuration Wizard, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh529920.aspx, but the great Microsoft team is working on getting it updated to include the steps with SP2 for Exchange 2010.

Seriously using Exchange 2010 SP 2 saves you, the admin, about 45-50 steps of configuration. The wizard that the Exchange and Online teams came up with in SP2 is nothing short of amazing. This shows the dedication by Microsoft to Cloud computing! If you don’t believe me, first setup a Hybrid Deployment with Exchange 2010 SP1 and then use SP2!

Let’s get started, below we follow-up on Part 2 with the Hybrid Configuration Wizard, the instructions below are from the Deployment Assistant site, and from then on I used the http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh529920.aspx instructions.

Connect EMC to Office 365

Above are the steps to add the Office 365 Environment to your on-premises Hybrid Exchange 2010 server. Below are the screen shots of me adding my Office 365 admin console to my Hybrid Exchange 2010 SP2 Server.

Give your Office 365 online environment a friendly name and choose the Exchange Online option for Remote PowerShell, Click OK (I choose to not use my default credentials and the next screen shows the credential popup for entering online credentials)

Enter your online credentials. I recommend using credentials that are tied to an online administrator account, and not an account that is federated from your on-premises Active Directory environment.

Once added you will see your On-Premises and the online environment in the Exchange Management Console (EMC)

Now here is the magic of SP2

As mentioned earlier the steps I used for this comes from here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh529920.aspx

Launching the new Hybrid Configuration Wizard, Click Next

Really not much to it….but this is only the initial setup so more to come, Click Finish

Here is where it gets busy, click on Manage Hybrid Configuration in the right side and read everything and ensure the pre-reqs have been completed before Clicking Next

Enter you on-premises and Office 365 Online credentials (Ensure the Office 365 credentials used are an user that has the Company.onmicrosoft.com UPN and not a federated user from the on-premises AD, this caused me some pain by trying to use an account that was a federated AD user) and Click Next

Add your on-premises domain(s) and Click Next

Here you will be given a Domain Proof of Ownership step that must be completed before you can continue (an depending on your DNS provider, might cause you to have to run this wizard at a later time to allow for DNS replication, but don’t worry you can run and re-run this wizard and it will update your settings). You must create a DNS TXT record to validate you own the domain you are trying to federate with. Complete the DNS entry and then click the Check Box and then….. Click Next

Add your Exchange 2010 SP2 CAS and HUB servers and Click Next

Add the outbound IP (this is very important as it will set the IP(s) or IP range that are allowed to be received from in Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) and if the IP(s) are not correct your email flow will suffer!) that your SMTP email and the name of the Certificate for TLS (ensure that this name is a part of your SSL certificate in the next step, again you want email to flow, this is a huge step!) and Click Next

Select the pre-added SSL certificate and choose how you want outgoing mail to be routed and Click Next ( I plan to write another blog on switching the email flow from being delivered on-premises first then to the Office 365 Exchange online)

Review all the information and then….wait for it….Click Manage! (If you have red lines in your screen, be afraid, very afraid! I did this to protect the innocent email and server names)

Verify that both steps completed successfully and then….Go do some testing!

I hope this was helpful, while in my blog it looks very easy, it was not (This is where I say I am a trained professional, and not to try this at home). I ran into numerous errors and issues and had to re-do several steps and fix things. While I wish I could say this can be done in a blink of an eye with the proper info, it is still a very detailed and involved setup. By no means do I think that this should be taken lightly, this is a major move for any company and involves one of the most primary means of communication, email. So if you are a looking to make a leap to the cloud, and I highly recommend it, please PLAN PLAN PLAN and if needed look to get some expert assistance! Catapult Systems, my company, is an excellent company to assist you and YOUR Company with the migration the Office 365. Please reach out to me and Catapult Systems for a chat about your planned migration, and we can help you, ensuring the migration to the cloud is a smooth transition for you and your users!