Replace On-Prem Exchange Server with VM in Exchange Online Hybrid Scenario

My organization is currently in a hybrid setup with Exchange Online and 1 on-premise Exchange 2013 server.  We would like to move to Exchange Online only and remove the hybrid setup.  Since it sounds like you must keep a hybrid as long as you're using DirSync, would this scenario work?

1. Remove Centralized Mail Transport by re-running the hybrid configuration wizard (we no longer need mail to flow through our on-premise server).
2. Get the management version of Exchange from Microsoft (I'm assuming this is a stripped down version of 2016, which would be preferable to just keeping Exchange 2013), and install that on a VM.
3. Uninstall Exchange 2013 using the control panel.

I have never had more than one on-premise Exchange Server, so I'm unsure about the complexities of introducing one temporarily so our on-premise Exchange could be virtual.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Todd NelsonSystems EngineerCommented:
Yes, you must maintain an on premises Exchange server when directory synchronization is enabled.  If you decide you really want to go purely EXO, you will need to...
  1. Disable directory sync.
  2. Remove AAD Connect.
  3. Remove Exchange 2013.

The installation of Exchange used for management is all the same.  There is no "management" version now, but there may be when Exchange 2019 is released later this year.

If you are currently configured for hybrid, there is no need to move to another server.  Personally, I don't think I would until we hear from MS later this year.  However, if you have moved all mailboxes to EXO you can...
  1. Delete all of the unused databases--leaving the one with all of the system mailboxes in it--defrag the database, and move back to C drive.
  2. Reduce the amount of memory to 2-4 GB and the page file size.
  3. Return unused storage back to SAN.
  4. Remove send connectors.

If you really want to move to a VM and Exchange 2016 for management of EXO objects, then the process is essentially no different when transitioning from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013; and then configure for hybrid again.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.