Over the past several years, we have received feedback from all sorts of customers on how the Hybrid Configuration Wizard can be improved. One highly requested piece of feedback has been focused around providing an option to allow a customer to configure the bare essentials to support a hybrid configuration with Office 365. One of the challenges we needed to overcome is that a Staged Exchange Migration is not supported for customers that are deployed on Exchange Server 2010 or later. That left customers with two options, either perform a cutover migration or a hybrid configuration. A cutover migration is designed for small customer deployments because all the users need to be migrated at the same time, and all Outlook profiles have to be recreated. The limitation of the cutover migration led many customers to deploy a Hybrid configuration. The Hybrid configuration has strict prerequisites around certificates and configuration scenarios that for some customers are confusing and unnecessary. Today, we are pleased to announce that the Minimal Hybrid Configuration feature is available. When you launch the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (for the first time), you will be presented with a new dialog option, entitled Hybrid Features. This dialog allows you to choose between a Minimal Hybrid Configuration or a Full Hybrid Configuration. What’s the difference? In a nutshell, the Minimal Hybrid Configuration allows you to just to perform migration and administration in a hybrid deployment. The Minimal Hybrid Configuration excludes configurations of secure email and any Exchange Federation related features, such as free/busy. This new configuration allows a customer to have the user experience benefits tied to a Hybrid migration: when a mailbox is moved you will not have to recreate the user’s Outlook profile; online mailbox moves are performed, unlike in a staged or cutover migration (users are for the most part not disconnected from the mailbox during the move); user account credentials are synchronized; and you get to enjoy uninterrupted mail flow.
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