Exchange 2016 "hybrid server" in Exchange 2010 environment

Occasional Contributor

Current Exchange environment: Exchange 2010 SP3 RU 24
Future plans: set up hybrid environment with Exchange Online, migrate all mailboxes to EXO.
Question: how and when to add the Exchange 2016 server that will be the onsite "hybrid server" after Exchange 2010 EOL (January 2020).


Yes, I put "hybrid server" in quotes, knowing that this term has been criticized.


So the objective is to migrate all mailboxes to Exchange Online (EXO) but that migration may be completed quite close to Exchange 2010 EOL.


Regardless, it appears that we need to maintain at least 1 on-premises Exchange server (yes, we use DirSync/AD Connect).


A suggestion was made verbally (by a Microsoft rep and also some FastTrack consultants) to add a Exchange 2016 server as the on-premises "hybrid server".




  • The Hybird Configuration Wizard in Exchange 2016 is supposedly improved (no, we have not yet run the HCW).
  • We could use it to migrate the mailboxes (apparently lessening the load on the actual servers housing the on-prem mailboxes).
  • As Exchange 2010 EOL approaches, we'll have to configure an Exchange 2016 server as the on-prem "hybrid server" regardless.




In Exchange migrations, it is typical to point client access DNS records to the server(s) running the latest version of Exchange since later versions of Exchange can proxy/redirect back to earlier versions of Exchange (for example, to access mailboxes that have not yet been migrated in a strictly on-premises migration - from one version of Exchange to another).


In this scenario, it is not our intent to migrate any mailboxes to Exchange 2016 but rather directly to the Cloud (EXO).


If we direct client access connections to the sole Exchange 2016 server, we have a single point of failure.


But, if we do not intend to migrate any mailboxes to Exchange 2016 on-prem, do we need to direct client access to the latest version of Exchange (2016 in this case)?


Has anyone been in this situation?


If so, how did you proceed?


Thank you in advance,


6 Replies
Clarification: we currently have 2 Exchange 2010 servers in a DAG (with incoming client connections load-balanced).
Did you ever find any answers to this question? Minus the dual server/DAG you have i have the exact same question. Single server that i can move all users to the cloud using a hybrid but when is the hybrid introduced and is the 2016 server what is used for all the moves?

Hi @David Machula,


You can install 2 Exchange 2016 and have load balancing to them and move all pointers' DNS, Connectors and so on to them.


The best practice is that you always implement a migration strategy to avoid downtime regarding your architecture.


I advise that you implement Hybrid with 2 Exchange 2016 and then migrate all Mailboxes to Office 365 leaving the Exchange 2016 to manage proposes. 


Best regards,

Nuno Árias Silva 

Using the above configuration is it possible to add the Exchange 2016 server as the hybrid and leave the DNS pointers directing to the Exchange 2010 DAG? Run the HCW, migrate mailboxes, etc and then once everyone is in Exchange Online repoint to O365?  @Nuno Silva We're wondering if that's possible without repointing to the Exchange 2016 server.  Thoughts?

Hi @Mitch Sprague,


When you have an Exchange that is more recent in your infrastructure like your scenario (Exchange 2016 with 2010) is advised to have the Hybrid in the most recent and have all pointers to 2016 to avoid issues.


Best regards,

Nuno Ária Silva

what do you mean by have all pointer to 2016? what pointers are you talkin about? I have the same scenario, where I upgraded just 1 server from 2010 to 2016 to do the migration to EXO, what else should be done?