O365 Hybrid Setup with Exchange 2010

We have 100 users on Exchange 2010. Want to try out O365 with 10-20 users and if for some reason it does not work out, pull back. Couple questions. Is it better no to setup Hybrid and make the connectors manually and if we don't want to move forward remove it, or setup the hybrid from the begging and then remove it if it does not work out. Is it easy to remove hybrid configuration so we can stay on prem if we decide to? What are other consideration I should think about?

Thanks!
Peter MikulaAsked:
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Don't setup anything now. You just create new user in Office 365. Test it with test user. Once testing over, then you can plan for Office 365 migration. Also, for users less than 2000, you can do cut over migration.
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Peter MikulaAuthor Commented:
we need to test with real users (pilot group of 10-20 users)  for  several weeks
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Todd NelsonSystems EngineerCommented:
One can't really just "try out O365" with real users--especially with hybrid.  If you need to do a proof of concept (or pilot), you should create O365 users, enable forwarding in your 2010 environment to those the O365 mailboxes, and then have your pilot group access their associated pilot mailboxes.

Hybrid is not trivial to set up or decommission.  So don't do it until you are ready and have approved the pilot testing.

This article should be a good reference to do a pilot...


Hope that helps.

P.S.  Although you could perform a cutover migration, personally, I would never recommend it when you have a server that is more than capable of being configured for hybrid.
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Aanand Singh KarkiAssociate ConsultantCommented:
Hello Peter,

Please find my comments for your query -

Is it better no to setup Hybrid and make the connectors manually and if we don't want to move forward remove it, or setup the hybrid from the begging and then remove it if it does not work out?

Answer: If you want to test the rich co-existence between your On-Prem and Online Mailing solution (O365) there is no way around except setting up hybrid configuration. Also, If you are looking for long term co-existence, I would still recommend you to go ahead and setup hybrid as the Hybrid configuration wizard does a lot of complicated tasks in a much easier way (Mail-flow setup, Free/Busy, Email-Address stamping or remote routing address etc.). With Hybrid setup your administration task and troubleshooting would be much easier and i believe that matters a lot as an IT Administrator.

Is it easy to remove hybrid configuration so we can stay on-prem if we decide to?
Answer:Yes it is easy to scrap hybrid configuration from your On-Prem servers if you don't want to continue with it. However, Removing the HybridConfiguration object isn’t supported in Exchange Server 2010. There isn’t a cmdlet that will remove the HybridConfiguration object and the object can reside in Active Directory without adverse effects as long as the Hybrid Configuration Wizard isn’t run again.

You can follow it http://www.agileit.com/news/remove-hybrid-configuration-exchange-server-2010/ for more precise steps.

What are the other consideration I should think about?
Answer: You can perform the assessment and to check your design i would request you to use various tools, Health, readiness and connectivity tool (HRC Tool), IDFix tool, Go and select your desired setup in Exchange Server Deployment assistant site (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dn756393.aspx), Your client compatibility, BES Support if you have it etc.

Regards,
Aanand Singh Karki
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