End of Support for Exchange 2010: Should you upgrade to Office 365 or Exchange 2016?

Oxford Computer Group has migrated more than 5 million seats of Exchange from on-premises to the cloud. The architecture of Exchange requires many of our clients to keep an Exchange server on-premises, and that server requires its own, regular attention.

If you still have any Exchange 2010 servers, whether in a pure, on-premises environment or in a hybrid environment, keep reading – you need to know what to do next!

Microsoft TechNet says:

“Exchange Server, like almost all Microsoft products, has a support lifecycle during which we provide new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on. This lifecycle typically lasts 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release, and the end of this lifecycle is known as the product’s end of support. When Exchange 2010 reaches its end of support on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide:

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

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.”

It’s time to migrate! But which path do you take?

There are plenty of migration paths to move off Exchange 2010. Options include migrating to Office 365/Exchange Online or upgrading to Exchange 2013, 2016, or 2019 on-premises. Whatever path you take, your decision will have long-term impacts on your organization’s identity strategy and security posture that affect much more than just Exchange. You need to be fully informed before deciding on your upgrade path.

Migrating to Office 365

Moving to Office 365 is likely the simplest path off Exchange 2010, and it provides access to the latest features and benefits for IT and users. You’re always on the latest version of Exchange in Office 365.

There are several ways to migrate to Office 365, and to make your decision you’ll need to consider:

  • The number of seats you need to move
  • Whether or not you need a seamless integration between Office 365 and your on-premises installation during the migration
  • How long you want the migration to last.

A cutover migration is recommended for organizations with about 150 seats, and will take less than a week to migrate. Migration of email for the whole organization will be complete at the same time eliminating complex co-existence.

An express migration might also be a good fit for organizations with about 150 seats. If you need more than a week but less than three to migrate, an express migration might be a good choice. This method allows for a slower migration timeline but does not require the complexity of a hybrid configuration between on-premises and Exchange Online.

A full hybrid migration is a longer-term migration that is suited for organizations with a large number of seats.

Migrating to Exchange Server 2016

For a variety of reasons, some organizations need to keep their email on-premises. These organizations can migrate their Exchange 2010 installation to Exchange 2016. While some features will only be available in Office 365, Exchange 2016 provides many similar features.

As TechNet outlines, here are the general steps for migrating from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016:

  • Install Exchange 2016 into your existing Exchange 2010 organization
  • Move services and other infrastructure to Exchange 2016
  • Move mailboxes and public folders to Exchange 2016
  • Decommission remaining Exchange 2010 servers

Migrating with FastTrack Ready

If you need assistance migrating to Office 365 and you have more than 150 seats of Exchange your organization might be eligible to use Microsoft FastTrack Ready services. Microsoft’s FastTrack Ready program is bundled into your Microsoft 365 subscription pricing and is designed to help you transition from on-premises solutions to the cloud. The program streamlines the cloud transition by accelerating deployment and gaining end-user adoption for Microsoft 365 (Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security) solutions.

Based on our technical capabilities and customer success record, Oxford Computer Group (OCG) is one of a select few Microsoft partners to be FastTrack Ready-approved.

Fast Track Ready services aren’t limited to Exchange migrations! SharePoint, Teams, One Drive, Azure AD and many other workloads in Microsoft 365 are supported by the FastTrack Ready portfolio of services. Contact us and we’d be happy to explain what the Fast Track Ready program provides your organization.

Even if you aren’t using FastTrack for your migration and you need assistance, OCG can help. We’ve migrated more than 5 million seats to Office 365, and we’d love to help you do the same. Contact us.


Contact OCG