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The Last Exchange Server

The Last Exchange Server

In the announcement that was portion of the release of the most current set of Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2019 and 2016, Microsoft launched some alterations – features if you will – which ended up gained with enthusiasm. An overview of these alterations was presented in a current ENow weblog report: “Exchange Cumulative Updates – April 2022”. Nevertheless, I want consider the dialogue further more and zoom in on one of those attributes, which also transpires to be a well known topic for shoppers functioning Trade Hybrid deployments: The Very last Exchange Server.

Up to Trade 2019 CU12 (2022 H1), consumers that migrated to Exchange On-line ended up still necessary to depart Exchange-similar components working on-premises. Even now, with all the information published close to this topic, I am amazed this nevertheless stunned consumers. This Trade server functioning on-premises is to be used for managing recipients which have their resource of authority in Lively Listing, leveraging Active Directory Hook up to propagate objects to Azure Lively Directory and consequently Exchange On the internet. Also, when there is a need to relay messages from programs or multi-functionals, prospects usually will need to have an Exchange server on-premises to acknowledge these messages, as Trade is the only supported mail relay product for hybrid deployments.

Receiver Management

But with the launch of Trade 2019 CU12, Microsoft declared it was now formally supported get rid of the final Exchange Server when operating Trade Hybrid by implies of current Trade Administration Resources. When the dust settled soon after persons did their happy dances, and people today began looking at the short article adequately and looking into the demands in depth, it grew to become obvious that this removing ONLY applies to eventualities when the Exchange server running on-premises is utilized for receiver management. This limitations options substantially. Most of my latest buyers who have Exchange hybrid deployed, have IDM solutions in-area which immediately handle Trade On the web objects, or execute this implicitly by Active Listing. When they require an Trade server on-premises to execute this, generally by jogging scripts in a remote PowerShell session towards the community Trade server, the previous Trade server can’t be taken off.

Mail Movement

Then approximately all prospects who have Trade Hybrid deployed, require this to drop off externally, or mail destined for mailboxes that are hosted in Trade On the web. Considering the fact that Trade Server is the only supported SMTP gateway for relaying interior messages, so that they are not classified as regular online mail (nameless) and therefore possibly stop up in Junk E-Mail folders. Or worse. Getting programs or appliances instantly provide messages to Trade Online is of class an choice, but this is not always probable, and also creates a dependency for the application on the web link. Daily life is less difficult when applications can just drop messages off regionally, with some sort of availability guarantee by owning many Trade hybrid servers. Then, it is up to Exchange to consider treatment of shipping and delivery and offer with disconnects or other delivery issues.


First wording on some publications could direct to persons imagining uninstalling Exchange Server was the way to clear away that very last Trade server. Of program, that is NOT the way to go. When uninstalling the final Exchange server in an business, you will also take away all Trade-relevant characteristics from all objects. The posting detailing this approach would make this very clear and emphasizes this more. In summary, what you need to have to do is:

  • Confirm all people, shared and public folder mailboxes have been migrated to Exchange On the internet.
  • Make certain you are only making use of Trade server to deal with recipient information and facts, this sort of as customers and distribution teams.
  • Your delegation design does not count on Trade Position-primarily based Access Control (RBAC).
  • You are used to running recipients devoid of the Exchange Administrative Heart (UI), or have 3rd celebration instruments in-area that manage this for you.
  • You have no need to have to have audit data of receiver administration.
  • You are unquestionably absolutely sure you do not Exchange Server for other duties than receiver management.
  • When not previously carried out so, position your Autodiscover and MX information to Exchange On the internet due to the fact your Trade hybrid server will not be answering those requests any longer.

When you created absolutely sure this is the way to go, you can proceed with the ways described in the Microsoft report “Control recipients in Exchange Hybrid environments working with Administration equipment“, most crucial becoming shutting down the final Trade server (instead of uninstalling) following which you have to have to make some modifications to Trade configuration and cleanse up Energetic Directory employing the supplied CleanupActiveDirectoryEMT.ps1 script from unused configuration factors these as hybrid configuration, method mailboxes and Trade security groups.

A rapid take note: if you are now running an Trade hybrid deployment working with Exchange server 2016 or 2013, and want to use Exchange Server 2019 CU12 administration instruments for recipient administration, a schema enhance is demanded for which you can use setup’s PrepareSchema or PrepareAD switches, relying on your atmosphere and topology.

Purpose-Primarily based Accessibility Management

When taking care of Exchange server regionally employing Trade Admin Center or the Trade Administration Shell, you use Exchange’s Role-Centered Accessibility Controls product. This design acts as a layer on major of Energetic Listing, among the administrator and Active Listing. It defines what responsibilities the administrator can perform, and when Exchange RBAC configuration approves the cmdlet or parameters used in the process, Exchange performs the procedure in its possess stability context.

Immediately after removing of the final Trade server, there is no Trade server to discuss to and act on behalf of the administrator. Essentially, it is the very same as running Exchange’s Edge Servers or individuals restoration operations right after locking yourself out of RBAC, by incorporating the Trade PowerShell snap-in, e.g. Add-PSSnapIn Microsoft.Exchange.PowerShell.E2010. Only with Trade 2019 CU12, the snap-in has a distinctive name, Add-PSSnapIn Microsoft.Trade.Management.PowerShell.RecipientManagement. You can test the cmdlets obtainable soon after loading the snap-in utilizing Get-Command:


Trade 2019 CU12 arrives with a script Incorporate-PermissionForEMT.ps1 which will build a safety team “Recipient Administration EMT” (Exchange Administration Tool). Include users to this team that are not member of Area Admins, but do involve receiver management permissions.


In Exchange, every single administrative operation operate by means of RBAC versus Trade can be logged. These auditing documents are typically stored in an arbitration mailbox. Considering the fact that there is no Exchange server and no RBAC model just after removal of the last Trade server, this also removes the selection of crafted-in auditing tracking and investigation. This indicates no additional exploring the Admin Audit Log to see what account modified individuals attributes or disabled that mailbox. Security When removal of the previous Trade server could involve including complexity to the administration side of items, it of training course also lessens the attack surface area of an business. Because there is no Exchange server operating that responses requests on ports 443 or 25 or performs administration tasks by Distant PowerShell classes, there is significantly less to keep an eye on and safeguard from. Also, as the server will become more or significantly less of a administration terminal, it also puts fewer pressure on holding up to date by deploying Cumulative Updates or Trade Stability Updates. That claimed, it is still encouraged to continue to keep updating and being present-day, as Cumulative Updates might nonetheless include fixes or variations in way it will work or interacts with Energetic Listing, but considerably less in the way Exchange servers usually expose their products and services.


Though elimination of the last Exchange server is a welcome choice for a particular set of shoppers, there are nonetheless pieces that can be enhanced. That mentioned, I favor owning this supported option out there now for shoppers that can benefit from it, relatively than hold out for the solution that has it all but is not completely ready however. Also, buyers will need to be absolutely sure that they want to use this option for case in point, really should at some point customers want to introduce Trade on-premises for what ever rationale, what are the effects of owning cleaned up Lively Directory of portion of Trade configuration, which is a little something most likely to investigate for one more upcoming post.



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