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Hi Brian, apologies if this has been answered, but i think the below is microsoft's stance on it. I use directory sync without an exchange server because for small business's it doesn't make sense to keep an exchange server running, were resources are finite. 

 

"The question of whether a third-party management tool or ADSIEDIT can be used is often asked. The answer is you can use them, but they are not supported. The Exchange Management Console, the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), and the Exchange Management Shell are the only supported tools that are available to manage Exchange recipients and objects. If you decide to use third-party management tools, it would be at your own risk. Third-party management tools often work fine, but Microsoft does not validate these tools."

 

taken from: 

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/decommission-on-premises-exchange

 

 

This is something new i learnt today :) https://www.itpromentor.com/remove-hybrid-keep-sync/

The Windows Server Essentials Experience Role is something i havent fiddled around with.. but really cool for end customers who want to throw out as much possible from on-premise :)

Need to urgently fiddle with this in my lab now..

Great share @DominikWagner ..

Hello,

 

Hope these links below add some value to this discussion.

 

How & When to De-commission Hybrid: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/decommission-on-premises-exchange

 

 

can't manage the attribute msExchHideFromAddressLists  from Office Admin Panel.: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/89b424a2-85fa-4b6b-b3b2-71eae2455556/msexch...

 

Hide from Address List in Dirsynced environment: https://www.tachytelic.net/2017/11/office-365-hide-a-user-from-gal-ad-sync/amp/

 

The only reason why Microsoft recommends to keep 1 CAS server/Exchange Hybrid (Free version) is to keep MSexch attributes intact. Once you de-commission Exchange, it removes those attributes from AD as well. However since you have AD Connect sync running the source of authority for the synced objects is on-premise & without those attributes it becomes hard to manage objects at times. Not everyone is a pro when it comes to modifying objects using ADSIedit or PS.

 

 

 

Depends what attributes you are talking about. Most can be done via regular AD console >Attributes editor (no ADSI or PS needed).

@Rahul Kumaar wrote:

 

The only reason why Microsoft recommends to keep 1 CAS server/Exchange Hybrid (Free version) is to keep MSexch attributes intact. Once you de-commission Exchange, it removes those attributes from AD as well. However since you have AD Connect sync running the source of authority for the synced objects is on-premise & without those attributes it becomes hard to manage objects at times. Not everyone is a pro when it comes to modifying objects using ADSIedit or PS.


My question to this is: what makes it any different than if I never had Exchange on-prem and started using Office 365? The Exchange attributes wouldn't be attached to the user objects anyway. If all maintenance is to be handled in the cloud, why are the on-prem Exchange attributes needed?

@BrianSmith if you only create users in Office 365 (not syncing from local AD) then such requirement is not applied. But i guess there can be a scenario, that you use AD, never used Exchange and want to sync your AD users instead of creating them in Azure AD. I guess in that case you would have to install Exchange on-premise for such hybrid setup.

2019-03-05 12_43_30-Reply to Message - Microsoft Tech Community.jpg

@Rahul Kumaar :  Decommissioning the last exchange server should not revert the Schema and the msExchange Attributes are still available to be used. The only difference is that you wont have any Exchange Console to do that modification process and also to ensure that the Uniqueness of the SMTP is maintained as mentioned by somebody else earlier in this post.

@Dominik Wagner I agree completely with the idea that moving to the cloud and decommissioning the on-premise Exchange server regardless of whether or not Azure AD sync is enabled or being used should be a supported scenario. I mean my lord MS has done nothing but shove moving to the cloud down our throats so why not create a scenario where we can succumb to this methodology once and for all and get rid of our on-premise servers completely? Makes no sense. I think, in the future, we will see this very thing they're just ignoring the obvious for now as they figure it out. Also, for the record, I like Azure AD sync for one reason and one reason only: single sign-on for our users with their new O365 licenses and applications for all their devices. We setup Azure AD sync immediately and then start buying subscriptions and pushing out the applications to the users. We can say "use your normal email address and password to activate" and the users can manage this without a support ticket being created. This is the REAL benefit of Azure AD sync. Sure, all my clients have on-premise Exchange currently and I'm trying to figure out the best method for upgrading to the cloud and all of this seems WAYYY to f****** complicated for what should be a simple process. They want the recurring monthly revenue model, yet still make it a pain in the a** to migrate!

 

I have several Exchange servers in Hybrid configuration and I now believe this was a mistake. I should have simply created the cloud account(s), added the subscriptions, created the mailboxes and configured their Outlooks (after updating DNS records). Then I could just import their PST files. I did this exact scenario last week for a two user client and it worked perfectly. So for a 25 user or less client this is the method I would choose moving forward. However, now I have several Exchange servers that I'm scared to death to uninstall the Hybrid Config or decommission because I followed (blindly) the MS migration instructions and did as they said. STUPID and I should have known better. My way worked much better and faster. I guess I could manually cleanup Azure AD and delete all the accounts and start completely over with the clients I've already setup under Hybrid after removing Azure AD Connect and Hybrid Exchange, but seriously?? Has anybody tried to back out of this configuration yet and just start over? Something tells me THAT is definitely not supported. ha!  

Well, if you don't need local AD for anything, you can move to using only Azure AD after using Hybrid. Decommission Exchange, remove AD connect, decommision local AD, start creating users in Azure AD. You might first also Azure AD join all PCs. SSO should work also without local AD for Office 365 apps. I haven't tried this practically, but i think this should work. Hybrid is only forced to have something to edit Exchange settings of synced users.
Since you already have Azure AD Connect server, just upgrade it to 4vCPU, 8 GB RAM and 60 GB HDD and install exchange 2016 and Run HCW, just to license this server (https://practical365.com/exchange-server/how-to-licence-exchange-hybrid-servers/)
Now after updating MX,CNAME and TXT record you can remove the hybrid config (https://www.agileit.com/news/remove-hybrid-configuration-exchange-server-2010/) and decomm your server.

I'm getting ready to migrate my Exchange Server 2013 to Exchange Online in about 8 weeks.  What if I don't implement Azure AD Connect, and simply manually configure the passwords online to match the passwords in on-premises AD?  With only about 30 users, it would be easier for me to simply configure the same passwords in Azure AD manually (for the convenience of my users) than it would be to have AD Connect take care of that, but then have to continue maintaining the on-premises Exchange Server.  Do I have to implement Azure AD Connect for some reason?  And if not, and I don't, can I then do all my email admin (e.g. aliases, email addresses, hide from address book, distro groups, etc.) online?

Well, the whole reason to have passwords is that they are secret and admins shouldn't know them, because then you can't prove if something was done by a user or ad admin who knew the password. That being said, 10 years ago i knew passwords of every user in my company :) But we have long ago moved away from that practice. If you want, you can do that. I suppose you also want to manually export and import all the emails as well (PST or something). This will take some time, but with 30 users maybe not so long, especially if they don't have tons of emails (with manual migrating they would have to wait for the moving, this is disruptive). And then you may ask them to change their passwords. But then you will have two passwords for every user, one in local AD and one in Azure AD. Unless you plan to get rid of local AD along with Exchange 2013.
Are you keeping your on premises AD?

@DeepakRandhawa 
You had post a link for how to license a Exchange Hybrid Server. The License now is offered in the HCW (Hybrid Configuration Wizard). So I have to finish the HCW and implement a hybrid Exchange Organisation. Is it not possible to install the Exchange Server only for Management and without a hybrid Installation?

you don't have to configure hybrid, just run the HCW, license the server and close the wizard.

@adam deltinger 

Yes, we will keep on premises AD.  I would keep Exchange Server on premises except given our size and the new hardware requirements for Exchange 2019, and our upgrade cycle, it's now more cost-effective to move Exchange to the cloud.

Thanks @Oleg K-- good to know.  

 

I'm actually doing a cutover migration for the mailboxes.  There are only 30 or so, but the cutover migration seems the more efficient/less painful approach.

Ok! Just do as Said above or do a cut over migration! Keep ad connect for synvinkel users, but keep in mind you Will run in a nån supported mode
In his first message he mentioned that he doesn't want AD Connect and rather would set passwords manually in Azure AD. But if local AD is left in place (i assume for some legacy apps), then without AD Connect he will have to manage same user twice in local AD and in Azure AD. Same goes with the passwords. I don't think this is feasible to have users to reset passwords themselves (as they would have to do this twice and also understand the difference). So all secrecy management will be in one person's hands. Not ideal, but hey, it's your company :) In that case running a non-supported mode without local Exchange is the least problem. And one can argue (i had a fierce back and forth recently with one allegedly working with MS in the past person, who claimed MS is not really enforcing non-supported policy in any way when investigating cases, but i'm not sure if you can trust someone on the internet claiming something). I have this unsupported version for a few years and Ms never asked me about it or declined support. Granted, we didn't have any critical issues.

Also, i haven't used cutover migration, so i don't know if it can work this way (without identity sync between local AD and Azure AD), but from i have read about cutover, it must be done quickly all in one run and there can be delays with emails, when staged can be spread to weeks and months and you can move mailboxes in small batches without almost any disruption to users.

This seems like a great discussion to jump into:).. It's a debate that has been around for so long, and that will last forever (until Microsoft release the official answer someday as promised at Ignite 2017).

 

Most people in the camp of removing the last server like Dominik on this thread, have small environments that they manage either all by themselves or with a small crew who are all quite savvy.

 

As soon as your environment scales up, the ADSI Edit / Attribute Editor tab, other manual alternatives to EAC/EMC/ECP seem pretty burdensome.  Once you introduce a 3rd party tool, you're pretty much just as bad off as you would be with a single Exchange server, but less all of the benefits (such as Email Address Policies, super EASY SMTP relay server, EAC, super EASY offboard plan ready to go).

 

Since AAD Connect is not a bother for most, the final Exchange server (with complimentary Hybrid product key) can just go onto the AAD Connect box.  If you wouldn't be using the SMTP relay capabilities, or anything else other than recipient administration, you could spec the server just based on AAD Connect and not even worry about Exchange server performance.

 

I'm thinking (and this is where I change into speculation mode) Microsoft will introduce a new server role or new installation package for Exchange (or some awesome ClickOnce app like the HCW) that puts in place some kind of middle ground solution that will prevent every new wave of EXO customers from having this last-server-required-?!?! revelation and panicking about having to still keep Exchange alive.

 

As a final point (so many points have been made in this thread, both good and bad :) ), I think there is no reason to feel any kind of shock that a final server will still be required after migrating all your mailboxes to the cloud.  The truth is that Exchange is a one of kind product that has continuously beat out the competition globally forever (in email land).  It has several unique characteristics, and most of all for this topic, Exchange Online integrates with on-premises AD like nothing else.  It's not Gmail, which has no such on-premises equivalent that over time had to be transformed into a cloud product (while still also being an on-premises product).  The hoops that Microsoft would have had to jump through to get Exchange to where it is.... I think trump the hoop of having to keep a single Exchange server around.

Exchange hybrid scenario has been in existence for a while. It is high time for MS to support on-cloud only office 365 instead of hybrid. The whole point of managed PAAS solution goes for a toss, if we have to upgrade and maintain on exchange everytime version it expires. Upgrade and maintenance becomes nightmare if you have DAG. I would really prefer moving to cloud, even, if it includes buying license for Azure AD premium and managing AD directly from cloud, considering I dont have much of group policy hierarchy for MAC user and single tree group policies for servers.

 

Only reason I am keeping hybrid is the campaign mailbox which blast almost 2500 mails during the ad campaign for clients which is not supported by office365 as it considers it spam. I am planning to divide that to three of four mailbox as source campaign and workaround this.

If you have a DAG, and mailboxes on it, then you're keeping Exchange servers on-premises for reasons above and beyond the topic of this thread.

If you migrate all mailboxes, and no longer have any 'need' to have Exchange installed, that is this topic.
Let’s consider DAG as hypothetical scenario. Considering the growing PAAs solution on GCD, Azure to eradicate on premise footprint. Keeping and maintaining exchange server internally still defeats the purpose of paying license for manage solution and the license for internal exchange and windows server and hardware upkeep and still being worried about CU update or version compatibility of keep up sync with dynamically changing cloud version. Specifically, considering single oncloud solution for mobility, pstn on teams, collaboration, content management, digital data management office365 has come a long way for enterprise or small business to rely on single solution except this small snag of maintaining internal exchange server and support person
Let’s consider DAG as hypothetical scenario. Considering the growing PAAs solution on GCD, Azure to eradicate on premise footprint. Keeping and maintaining exchange server internally still defeats the purpose of paying license for manage solution and the license for internal exchange and windows server and hardware upkeep and still being worried about CU update or version compatibility of keep up sync with dynamically changing cloud version. Specifically, considering single oncloud solution for mobility, pstn on teams, collaboration, content management, digital data management office365 has come a long way for enterprise or small business to rely on single solution except this small snag of maintaining internal exchange server and support person kind of defeat the purpose of going cloud solution and eradicating local data room
Let’s consider DAG as hypothetical scenario. Considering the growing PAAs solution on GCD, Azure to eradicate on premise footprint. Keeping and maintaining exchange server internally still defeats the purpose of paying license for manage solution and the license for internal exchange and windows server and hardware upkeep and still being worried about CU update or version compatibility of keep up sync with dynamically changing cloud version. Specifically, considering single oncloud solution for mobility, pstn on teams, collaboration, content management, digital data management office365 has come a long way for enterprise or small business to rely on single solution except this small snag of maintaining internal exchange server and support person kind of defeat the purpose of going cloud solution and eradicating local data room

@Prasant Chettri I don't know if you know this but if you are paying for E3 monthly via Billing. Then your Exchange on-premise license is free. If you are only running Exchange Server for email infrastructure in your organization - then you need to pay for the Exchange License. Ask your Microsoft Licensing individual that is assigned to your organization. This model was adopted since 2018 and onwards.

Thanks for the info. I will reach out to MS to migrate and update on prem license from exchange 13 to newer version

@Keith Caines 

 

Just wondering how you got on with this?

 

I have to work out how to do this for a customer who has a very aging SBS2011 server with a Hybrid (exch2010<>o365) config. AAD is running also. Thus, is both an SBS 2011 Server Decommsion excercise and Hybrid-Removal because, the customer wishes to do away with the on-prem server and Local Active Directory ENTIRELY and go forward with Azure AD joined computers instead and Office 365 only, with no local AD Domain Servers or Windows Server at all.

Thanks

I beleive these actions can be completed with a powershell command or two!

@Joe Wichowski Are you uninstalling Exchange from these environments, or ghosting it? In our experience, when Exchange is uninstalled (single server environments); attribute values (such as proxyAddresses) were removed. We had to manually add the proxyAddresses back in.

In our case ProxyAddress stayed intact. Exchange was uninstalled, but it had to be decommissioned first and it was in hybrid more before that. It was done by our partners, so i'm not sure which step makes it keep the scheme and fields.
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