Microsoft Exchange Online is one of several cloud-hosted applications delivered through Microsoft 365 (formerly branded Office 365). Exchange Online offers the advantages of reduced investment in physical infrastructure, simplified administration, on-demand scale, high-availability, and other benefits associated with public clouds. Microsoft has made a strong effort to enable seamless hybrid environments for Exchange, as well as for Skype for Business and SharePoint, all of which take advantage of Microsoft Azure's vast cloud infrastructure. Hybrid environments are networks that combine on-premises servers and storage resources with cloud platforms and services to create a cohesive IT solution.
Common motives for integrating on-premises Exchange deployments with Microsoft 365 Exchange Online include compliance with regulations or policies that prohibit certain mailboxes from being moved off premises or that require special on-premises filtering, performance issues involving virtualization or cloud latency, the need for more flexible management control, the ability to support various non-standard or legacy systems, corporate culture, or disaster recovery strategies. In addition, hybrid deployments are typically on the critical path for migrating smoothly from an on-premises to an Microsoft 365 Exchange environment.
Whether you need a temporary hybrid Microsoft 365 deployment to carry out a migration to the cloud or you want to create a long-term hybrid ecosystem, Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team can help you with any phase of designing, integrating and troubleshooting your hybrid solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide as-needed expertise to help you through stubborn technical bottlenecks and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Microsoft 365 initiative is completed on schedule and on budget.
Microsoft 365 hybrid deployments offer seamless integration between on-premises and cloud organizations
Progent's unified communications consultants have extensive experience working with Microsoft's support engineers to resolve complex technical issues and Progent is committed to knowledge transfer to your in-house IT team to help you maintain and refine your hybrid Microsoft 365 solution as your needs evolve. Progent has 20 years of experience providing organizations of all sizes advanced consulting services online, and Progent also offers onsite support in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. (See Progent's customer testimonials.)
Microsoft 365 Hybrid Solutions for Exchange
A hybrid deployment of Microsoft 365 and on-premises Exchange allows you to have a mix of local and cloud mailboxes and offers other important features including:
- Secure mail routing with a domain namespace and an Outlook on the Web address shared between on-premises and Microsoft 365 organizations
- A shared global address list (GAL) with full recipient details
- A shared free/busy calendar
- Control of inbound and outbound mail flow across Microsoft 365 and on-premises organizations
- Easy movement of mailboxes between on-premises and Microsoft 365 including automatic Exchange ActiveSync profile redirection
- On-premises Exchange Administration Center (EAC) for centralized mailbox management
- Multi-mailbox search across on-premises and Microsoft 365 mailboxes
- Exchange Online Archiving for on-premises and Microsoft 365 mailboxes
- Seamless integration with on-premises and/or cloud-hosted deployments of Skype for Business and SharePoint
- Support for Microsoft Edge Transport server to protect against spam and apply mail flow transport rules
- Single sign-on (SSO) via Azure Active Directory Connect, password sync or AD FS
- AD FS deployments allow multi-factor authentication and compliance with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)
Hybrid AD FS offers multi-factor authentication, compliance with Federal Information Processing Standards
Microsoft 365 supports a variety of hybrid models. Careful planning with Progent's network design experts can save considerable time and money, since re-architecting an inappropriate deployment can be complex and disruptive. The process of creating a hybrid Microsoft 365 Exchange Online solution can range from complex to very complex, depending on the makeup of your existing email environment and the functionality you hope to achieve. Basic steps include:
Within the process of configuring a hybrid Microsoft 365 environment, important decisions have to be made concerning on-premises system architecture, mail flow, authentication, synchronization, security, performance, backup and recovery, mailbox retention, management and delegation, size restrictions, mobile device support, integration with other on-premises and cloud applications and services, and additional areas that impact the design and configuration of your hybrid Microsoft 365 solution. Usually your on-premises Exchange organization will need to be brought up to date and tuned.
- Determine your strategic requirements for your hybrid Exchange solution
- Assess your existing infrastructure and update as necessary to meet prerequisites
- Design and validate your new system architecture
- Create and test a deployment plan and identify migration tools
- Identify on-premises vs. Microsoft 365 users
- Select appropriate versions of Microsoft 365 and purchase licenses
- Add and verify domain to Microsoft 365 portal
- Change/Add DNS records
- Clean up (with IDFix) and configure on-premises Active Directory and optionally AD FS
- Set up single sign-on (SSO) and Directory Sync
- Assign licenses and create Accounts/mailboxes in Microsoft 365
- Export mailboxes to PSTs
- Import PSTs into Microsoft 365 mailboxes
- Integrate smart phones and tablets
- Migrate public folders
- Test and validate services and performance
- Update and verify firewalls and proxy servers
- Train users and IT support team
Microsoft provides an assortment of useful tools to help automate and troubleshoot many of the steps required to create a hybrid environment. These include the Hybrid Configuration Wizard, PowerShell, the Exchange admin center (EAC), the Microsoft 365 Deployment Readiness tool, and the IDFix tool. In practice, many steps of setting up a hybrid Microsoft 365 solution are prone to technical hiccups. Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team has dealt extensively with issues related to designing and implementing hybrid Microsoft 365 deployments and can help you follow best practices to anticipate problems, resolve them efficiently, and protect your users from service disruptions.
How Progent Can Help You Integrate Microsoft 365 with Your On-premises Environment
Progent can help you in every phase of migrating to Microsoft 365 and integrating your on-premises Exchange organization with Exchange Online. Progent can help you clarify and define your strategic and operational objectives, evaluate the readiness of your current infrastructure, design the architecture for a hybrid solution, create a deployment plan, set up and test a pilot system, configure your hybrid solution, automate administrative functions, tune performance, manage licenses, prepare comprehensive disaster recovery plans, verify and enhance security and compliance, and provide training for your IT team and users. Progent offers affordable online consulting and troubleshooting to help you through occasional technical road blocks or Progent can provide comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing services to help you complete your hybrid solution on time and within your budget.
In addition to Exchange Online, Microsoft offers other cloud-hosted applications delivered through Microsoft 365. These include Skype for Business Online, SharePoint Online, and Project Online. All of these applications can be integrated with one another for cloud-based or hybrid deployments. Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team offers expert support for hybrid solutions that incorporate Microsoft 365 and on-premises resources by providing services that include Windows Server consulting, Exchange expertise, Skype for Business system design and troubleshooting, SQL Server integration and application development, SharePoint planning and development, Microsoft 365 integration and training, Microsoft Project expertise, System Center 2016 consulting services, System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting, System Center 2016 Operations Manager (SCOM 2016) support, System Center 2016 Configuration Manager (SCCM 2016) consulting, Virtual Machine Manager 2016 (VVM 2016) hybrid cloud management consulting, Microsoft Intune management, and Dynamics GP consulting and customization.
Common examples of online and onsite consulting services provided by Progent to help organizations integrate Microsoft 365 Exchange Online with on-premises Exchange environments include:
Additional Cloud Integration Solutions from Progent
- Configure and troubleshoot OneDrive sync and client access
- Configure authentication with Microsoft 365 and local Domain Users
- Configure Microsoft 365 and assign purchased licenses
- Clean folders before exporting into Microsoft 365
- Rebuild profiles of Windows users
- Correct Microsoft 365 synchronization issues with AD Users
- Resolve Outlook autodiscover issues
- Perform manual mailbox migrations when necessary
- Migrate Gmail accounts
- Add accounts to iOS and Android devices
- Configure Exchange Online Archiving
- Create custom tutorial videos to help users set up their own Microsoft 365 accounts for Windows, iOS and Android devices
- Set up third-party on-premises or hybrid spam filter gateways
- Troubleshoot synchronization issues with Active Directory Global Security Groups
- Resolve issues with .PST and .OST files
- Resolve mail flow problems
- Troubleshoot AD Connect authentication problems
- Use PowerShell for management, diagnostics, repair, and migration
- Resolve multi-factor authentication issues in environments with AD FS
- Work with Microsoft engineers to identify problems at Microsoft's end (e.g., a corrupted Connector)
- Troubleshoot Microsoft 365 Message Encryption issues
- Update on-premises Exchange Servers to current versions of Exchange and upgrade equipment
- Train HR on steps to disable accounts for terminated employees
The options available for public cloud services are continually expanding, making it increasingly challenging for information managers to determine the optimum cloud strategy for their organizations. Progent has worked extensively with companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprises helping to plan, implement, and maintain IT solutions that integrate various cloud services from major public cloud providers. Progent's cloud integration consultants can assist you to evaluate the relative advantages of different public cloud offerings and can help you create a cloud-centric or hybrid ecosystem that delivers maximum business value. Public cloud platforms supported by Progent include:
Progent can help you integrate your on-premises datacenter with Microsoft Azure cloud services by providing expertise for projects such as configuring VMs on Azure Virtual Machines, setting up cloud storage with Azure Storage, managing simple or federated authentication with Azure Active Directory, and designing backup/restore systems with Azure Backup. Progent can assist you to configure or troubleshoot firewalls and VPN connections and to create centralized and self-service management solutions for on-premises, remote, and mobile users. For more information about Progent's consulting and technical support services for Microsoft Azure, see Microsoft Azure integration and support consulting.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a large selection of cloud infrastructure services that include Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for hosting virtual servers, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for cloud-based storage, and Amazon Glacier for affordable archiving. Progent can help you design, deploy and manage cloud or hybrid environments that incorporate Amazon AWS services by offering services that include migrating on-premises resources to Amazon AWS, troubleshooting connectivity issues, tuning performance, and configuring hybrid management tools. For more information about Progent's integration support for Amazon AWS, refer to Amazon AWS integration consulting and troubleshooting.
Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) is a complete set of programming interfaces that allow businesses that sell their products through Amazon to integrate their internal software with Amazon's powerful online retail system. Areas covered by the Amazon Marketplace Web Service API include product listings, orders, payments, fulfillment, and reporting. By integrating in-house applications and work flows with Amazon's online retail network, companies can expand their reach, lower the cost of operations, speed up their response to customers, and grow their profits. For details about Progent's development support for Amazon Marketplace Web Service, visit Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) application development and integration consulting.
Progent's Google Cloud Platform (GCP) planning and integration experts can provide cost-effective remote and on-premises consulting to assist companies to move any part of their core network infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This can save management hassle and equipment costs and allow access to Google's state-of-the-art machine learning tools. Progent can help you with every phase of Google Cloud Platform migration and troubleshooting including needs analysis, readiness evaluation, system design, pilot testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance tuning, licensing management, backup/restore mechanisms, and security.
Contact Progent for Help Integrating Microsoft 365 with Your On-premises Exchange Environment
If you need help with any aspect of integrating your on-premises Exchange organization with Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.