Earlier this year, we announced that exchange 2019 is the last exchange server based on the Microsoft PFE remark in one of the Microsoft Tech Community Blog.
New Exchange vNext
Today, in Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference, Microsoft changed the approach and announced new Exchange Server. Here is what we have heard about new Exchange server.
- Exchange Server will be available after June 2021.
- Only available with the Subscription and not a onetime purchase.
- Subscription based licensing will reflect in Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, and SharePoint server.
- Ongoing Subscription will include updates and support.
- This version will be built for long term which sound like the last server until Microsoft finds a great reason rebuild a new version.
- It will be easy maintenance and easy updates which means expect a command to move role or databases to another server.
- It will also allow Previous 3 exchange versions co-existence (Till 2019 is it only previous 2 versions) and migration which means Exchange 2013, 2016, and 2019 can live together with Exchange vNext.
- For the 1st time this exchange version will allow in place upgrade from Exchange 2019 to Exchange vNext. Everyone thinking how is it possible? Here is my thought, I think there is database architecture rewriting so Microsoft will not rewrite the new design of database but minor changes adoptable with the binary and registry. We might be able to deploy new version in case of a disaster with server binary disk.
- Exchange 2019 and Exchange vNext can be in the same DAG.
- High Availability for Transport will work between Exchange 2019 and Exchange vNext as well.
- Exchange 2019 and Exchange vNext can be in the same Load Balancer.
- In-place upgrade will be supported for 2 years from the data of release of Exchange vNext
- Maximum 8 cumulative updates will support the in-place upgrade. From Exchange vNext CU 9, in-place upgrade will not be allowed.
- If you are planning to stay in on-premises Exchange then plan to upgrade today from your exchange 2013 or 2016 to Exchange 2019 in order to leverage in-place upgrade option. So, that you are ready for Upgrade to Exchange vNext.
- Migration to Exchange 2019 will be last major upgrade.
- Now, remember there is no Unified Messaging in Exchange 2019 and it is expected the same with Exchange vNext so if you are planning to upgrade then plan for your Unified Messaging as a step 1.
- After 2 years, it will be normal migration to exchange vNext (new servers, migrate mailboxes) but no in-place upgrade.
Exchange Server Versions and Paths
Exchange 2016 and Hybrid
- Exchange Server 2016 support Mainstream Support ends and Extended Support starts on Oct 14th, 2020.
- No, Exchange 2016 cumulative update will be provided during extended support but security and time zone updates will be provided.
- If you are keeping Exchange 2016/2013 for Hybrid recipient management purpose with free Hybrid Key then Microsoft recommends to keep using it.
- If you are planning to keep Exchange on-premises for mailbox hosting then plan Exchange 2019 asap and move to subscription model to stay safe and secure.
- There will be no free Hybrid license for Exchange 2019 or Exchange vNext
- There is no update on removing last exchange server from Microsoft. This is where Golden Five Consulting provide help in a custom solution.