Exchange Server 2010 Gets 9-Month Support Extension
Microsoft has added nine months to Exchange Server 2010's "extended support" window, moving the date from Jan. 14, 2020 to Oct. 13, 2020.
The end of extended support marks the end of the road for Microsoft's premises-based business products, which generally get supported for 10 years total. After the Oct. 13, 2020 date, Microsoft will no longer deliver free security patches for Exchange Server 2010, which could entail risks for organizations that continue to run the server after the end date. The product also will be deemed "unsupported" by Microsoft after that October end date.
Microsoft indicated that it had extended the end date of Exchange Server 2010 to give its customers "more time to complete their migrations" to other e-mail messaging products. The date change also harmonizes with the end dates of other Microsoft 2010-branded server products, such as Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, which also will lose support on Oct. 13, 2020.
Microsoft's 10-month extension for Exchange Server 2010 actually isn't that generous, though. For instance, organizations may be running Exchange Server 2010 on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 products, and both of those products will reach their end-of-support date on Jan. 14, 2020, becoming unsupported products.
Microsoft points organizations coming to grips with these migration deadlines to two new options, which are described at the Windows Server 2008 migration options page. The options include paying for Extended Security Updates for up to three years or shifting to the cloud and getting those Extended Security Updates for "free" when running Exchange Server 2008 from an Azure virtual machine. Nuances regarding those options can be found in Microsoft's Extended Security Updates FAQ document.
Of course, there's also a server upgrade to consider. Exchange Server 2019 is Microsoft's current flagship e-mail messaging server product, but Exchange Server 2010 users will need to perform a two-hop migration to get to it. They'll need to upgrade Exchange Server 2010 to either Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016 first before getting to the newest server product.
Alternatively, Microsoft's favorite option for organizations is to migrate from Exchange Server 2010 to Exchange Online, which is offered through Office 365 subscriptions. If an organization is small enough (fewer than 150 "seats" or users), they can perform a so-called "cutover migration" to Exchange Online, although the migration has to be completed "in a week," according to Microsoft's "Exchange 2010 End of Support Roadmap" document. Other options include a "minimal hybrid migration" over a few weeks' time, which requires directory synchronization, and the more complex "full hybrid migration" that permits migrations over months' time for organizations with more than 150 seats.
For more on the Exchange Online migration options, see the Redmond articles by Brien Posey, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. He's written about planning a cutover migration, as well as the steps to ensure a smooth migration from Exchange Server.
Resources and Support
Microsoft offers a few migration resources for organizations. Microsoft's partner-assisted FastTrack program offers free help, but only for organizations meeting the program's requirements, namely having certain licensing in place for 150 seats or more. More FastTrack details can be found in Microsoft's FAQ.
It's also possible to hire a Microsoft partner directly. They can be found via this Microsoft search portal.
In addition, organizations can run the free Exchange Deployment Assistant. It's an interactive Web-based tool that will build a checklist for deploying Exchange Server on-premises.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.