Planning Ahead for Exchange 2010 End of Support

Editor’s update (9/17/2019): Microsoft has announced they are extending end of support for Exchange 2010 from the original date of January 14, 2020 to October 13, 2020 due to “an extensive number of Exchange customers” on this instance. Learn more below about migration opportunities and ways to plan around this new deadline. Note that the deadline for Windows 7 end of support remains January 14, 2020.

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

End of support for Exchange 2010 is approaching. As Microsoft’s typical lifecycle is five years of standard support followed by five years of extended support, October 13, 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 October 2020 rolls around, businesses still on Exchange 2010 will face:

  • No more documentation updates: existing articles will still be accessible, however no new best practices or guidance will be published.
  • No more security 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  • Compliance issues: running outdated or unsupported products could be an immediate ticket out of compliance.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 if your organization is looking to upgrade from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2019, a “double-hop” migration through Exchange 2013 or 2016 will need to be performed first, however MigrationWiz is able to migrate data directly to Exchange 2019 without this middle step.

 

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 – not to mention the other work required to move instances of Exchange outside the data migration (which we’ve got covered for you).

Windows 7 support is slated to end 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 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 Exchange Online and Office 365 that have the potential to improve the way they work. 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.

 

 

Editor’s Note (10/21/2019): a previous version of this article incorrectly stated Microsoft would not be providing documentation or phone support for Exchange 2010 customers. Microsoft will continue to provide online documentation and support (if they have a contract such as Premier), but no new documentation will be produced, bugs will not be accepted, etc.

About the author

Grady Gausman

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

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