Exchange 2010 End of Support Is Coming


On January 14, 2020, Exchange Server 2010 will reach end of support. 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.

What does end of support mean?

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:

  • 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

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.

For more information about Office 2010 servers nearing the end of support, see Resources to help upgrade Office 2010 clients and servers.

What are my options?

With Exchange 2010 reaching its end of support, this is a great time to explore your options and prepare a migration plan. You can:

  • Migrate to Office 365 using cutover, express, or hybrid migration
  • Migrate your Exchange 2010 servers to a Exchange Server 2016 on your on-premises servers

The following sections explore each option in more detail.

Migrate to Office 365

Migrating your email to Office 365 is your best and simplest option to help you retire your Exchange 2010 deployment. With a migration to Office 365, you can make a single hop from old technology to our latest offering. Office 365 receives new features and experiences first and you and your users 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.

How should I migrate to Office 365?

Depending on your organization, you have a few options that will help you get to 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. This table below shows your migration options and the most important factors that’ll determine which method you’ll use.

Migration option Recommended for
organizations with...
Time to migrate...
Cutover migration Fewer than 150 seats A week or less
Express migration Fewer than 150 seats A couple weeks or less
Full hybrid migration More than 150 seats A few weeks or more

The following sections give you an overview of these methods.

Cutover Migration

A cutover migration is one where, at a pre-selected date and time, you’ll migrate all your mailboxes, distribution groups, contacts, and so on, to Office 365. When you’ve finished, you’ll shut down your on-premises Exchange servers and start using Office 365 exclusively.

The cutover migration method is great 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. But it’s also somewhat limited because it should be completed in a week or less and because it requires users to reconfigure their Outlook profiles. While cutover migration can handle up to 2,000 mailboxes, we strongly recommend you migrate a maximum of 150 mailboxes with this method. If you try to migrate more than 150 mailboxes, you could run out of time to transfer all the mailboxes before your deadline, and your IT support staff may get overwhelmed helping users reconfigure Outlook.

If you’re thinking about doing a cutover migration, here are a few things to consider:

  • Office 365 will need to connect to your Exchange 2010 servers using Outlook Anywhere over TCP port 443
  • All on-premises mailboxes will be moved to Office 365
  • You’ll need an on-premises administrator account that has access to read the contents of your users’ mailboxes
  • The Exchange 2010 accepted domains that you want to use in Office 365 need to be added as verified domains in the service
  • Between the time you start the migration and when you begin the completion phase, Office 365 will periodically synchronize the Office 365 and on-premises mailboxes. This lets you complete the migration without worrying about email being left behind in your on-premises mailboxes
  • Users will receive new temporary passwords for their Office 365 account that they’ll need to change when they log in to their mailboxes for the first time
  • You’ll need an Office 365 license that includes Exchange Online for each user mailbox you migrate
  • Users will need to set up a new Outlook profile on each of their devices and download their email again

Express Migration

An express migration is one where you have a few hundred mailboxes that you want to migrate to Office 365, can complete the migration within a couple weeks, and don’t need any of the advanced hybrid migration features like shared Free/Busy calendar information.

Express migration is great for organizations that need to take more time to migrate their mailboxes to Office 365, but still plan to complete the migration within a couple weeks. You get some benefits of the more advanced full hybrid migration without many of the complexities. 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.

If you’re thinking about doing a staged migration, here are a few things to consider:

  • Office 365 will need to connect to your Exchange 2010 servers using Outlook Anywhere over TCP port 443
  • You'll need to perform a one-time directory synchronization between your on-premises Active Directory servers and Office 365
  • Users will be able to log in to their Office 365 mailbox using the same username and password they were using when their mailbox was migrated
  • You’ll need an Office 365 license that includes Exchange Online for each user mailbox you migrate
  • Users don’t need to set up a new Outlook profile on most of their devices (some older Android phones might need a new profile) and won’t need to re-download their email

Full Hybrid Migration

A full hybrid migration is one where your organization has many hundreds, up to tens of thousands, of mailboxes and you want to move some or all of them to Office 365. Because these migrations are typically longer-term, hybrid migrations make it possible to:

  • Show on-premises users the free/busy calendar information for users in Office 365, and vice versa
  • See a unified Global Address List (GAL) that contains recipients from both on-premises and Office 365
  • View full Outlook recipient cards for all users, regardless of whether they're on-premises or in Office 365
  • Users will be able to log in to their Office 365 mailbox using the same username and password they were using before their mailbox was migrated
  • Users don’t need to set up a new Outlook profile on most of their devices (some older Android phones might need a new profile) and won’t need to re-download their email
  • Secure email communication between on-premises Exchange servers and Office 365 using TLS and certificates
  • Treat messages sent between on-premises Exchange servers and Office 365 as internal, enabling them to:
    • Be properly evaluated and processed by transport and compliance agents targeting internal messages
    • Bypass anti-spam filters

Full hybrid migrations are best for organizations that expect to stay in a hybrid configuration for many months or more. You’ll get the features listed earlier in this section, plus directory synchronization, better integrated compliance features, and the ability to move mailboxes to and from Office 365 using online mailbox moves. Office 365 becomes an extension of your on-premises organization.

If you’re thinking about doing a full hybrid migration, there are a few things to consider. 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. If this sounds like your organization, we strongly recommend that you consider Cutover or Express Migrations instead.

Migrate to Exchange Server 2016

While we strongly believe that you can achieve the best value and user experience by migrating to Office 365, we also understand that some organizations need to keep their email on-premises. This could be because of regulatory requirements, to guarantee data isn’t stored in a datacenter located in another country, and so on. 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 (although some features are available only in Office 365).

Migration path to Exchange 2016

Here are the general phases for migrating 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

Version coexistence

When migrating to Exchange 2016, you can install into an existing Exchange 2010 organization. This enables you to install one or more Exchange 2016 servers and perform your migration.

Server hardware

Server hardware requirements have changed from Exchange 2010. You’ll need to make sure the hardware you’re going to use is compatible. You can find out more about hardware requirements here.

How do I migrate to Exchange 2016?

If you’ve decided that you want to keep your email on-premises, you can use the following resources to help you with your migration:

What if I need help?

If you’re migrating to Office 365, you might be eligible to use our Microsoft FastTrack service. FastTrack provides best practices, tools, and resources to make your migration to Office 365 as seamless as possible. Best of all, you’ll have a real support engineer that will walk you through your migration, from planning and design all the way to migrating your last mailbox. If you want to know more about FastTrack, take a look at Microsoft FastTrack.

If you run into any problems during your migration to Office 365 and you aren’t using FastTrack, or your migration to a newer version of Exchange Server, we’re here to help. Here are some resources you can use:

Exchange Team


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