Planning Ahead for Exchange 2010 End of Support

Businesses still clinging to Exchange Server 2010 need to make a change.

End of support for Exchange 2010 is quickly approaching. As Microsoft’s typical lifecycle is five years of standard support followed by five years of extended support, January 14, 2020 is the deadline for support and updates to this Exchange instance.

For managed service providers, this represents an opportunity to help customers upgrade all their systems, not just email. In this post, we explore the implications of utilizing Exchange 2010 past that January deadline, options for a new Destination, and the broader service opportunity this deadline presents.

 

End of Support Implications

Once January 14th rolls around, businesses still on Exchange 2010 will face:

  • No more technical assistance: End of support means…well…end of support. Microsoft will no longer offer help for issues in Exchange 2010. No more documentation, phone support, or general troubleshooting.
  • No more updates: the most critical components here are bug fixes or security patches to protect users and data within Exchange 2010. Without these updates, risk of ransomware or malicious attempts to access information rises.
  • Compliance issues: running outdated or unsupported products could be an immediate ticket out of compliance. Depending on regulations in your industry, or regional standards, operating Exchange 2010 past the end of support date may pose a larger business and/or legal problem

 

Migration Options

The first question your business will ask is, “where are we going?” We suggest two main options:

  • Upgrade to Exchange Online / Office 365: this is clearly the preferred option from Microsoft’s end. From feature enhancements to price changes, the Redmond giant continues to push organizations off-premises and into their cloud suite. By upgrading to Office 365, you’re guaranteed the latest version of Exchange in addition to all the functionality and applications without maintaining on-premises hardware.
  • Upgrade to Exchange 2016 / 2019: moving email to the cloud may not be possible for business reasons. By migrating to a newer instance of Exchange, the organization is still protected against the implications of an out-of-date server. Note that, in order to move from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2019, a “double-hop” migration through Exchange 2013 will need to be performed first, unless you choose to use a third-party tool such as MigrationWiz.

 

The Broader Transformation Opportunity

Market scenarios such as this are a great opportunity for managed service providers to introduce a modern workplace plan, particularly for late adopters who are less than eager to make a change. Exchange 2010 is only one component of this plan and should be used as a foot in the door toward that bigger transformation project.

Windows 7 support also ends in January 2020. With Windows 10 now included in the Microsoft 365 bundle, it could be a good opportunity to perform both of those migrations at once.

Another consideration to introduce is SharePoint 2010. Its end of support deadline is not far behind the others, and the migration options are similar: an upgraded on-prem instance or the full transition to Office 365.

Ultimately, organizations still using Exchange 2010 are missing out on a host of functionalities in Office 365 that have the potential to change their work environment for the better. As their trusted managed service provider, this end-of-support cycle is the perfect change to help them navigate the changing technology landscape and introduce more holistic options to help them be more productive, collaborative, and secure.

 

About the author

Grady Gausman

Grady Gausman is a staff writer for the Bits & Bytes blog.

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