We currently have a single Exchange 2010 SP3 CU10 server in a hybrid mode with office 365,

I understand that it is best / necessary to retain an exchange server on premise to edit attributes of users such as proxy addresses and passwords.

I have just finished migrating all of the mailboxes from the 2010 and would now like to decom the 2010 server and use a free hybrid license that i believe we have with our E3 plan. This will reduce costs as we will not have to pay for the exchange/windows licenses.

I believe that in order to do this we need to take it out of hybrid and re run the hybrid wizard on the new server.

Has anybody any experience doing this?



As far as I am aware, that wouldn't make you eligible for the free licence because you own Exchange 2010 already. It is designed for people who do not (probably because they are coming off older versions of Exchange)

If you already own the Exchange licence, why not continue to use it? It doesn't increases costs as you have already paid for it - unless there is something you haven't said.

  • Thank you for your response Sembee, I feared as much with regards to the Free License. We have had help from Microsoft on boarding and I remembered them mentioning the free license but reading around it appears that they scan your environment to determine if you need it (which you quite rightly pointed out, we don't NEED) We are licensed through a third party that hosts our infrastructure so I need to find out how licencing works at the moment, I did see a per user license on the last invoice however no users reside there anymore, we may have to still pay OS costs ? – Z Holt Feb 4 '16 at 10:03
  • We are on SPLA licensing – Z Holt Feb 4 '16 at 10:24
  • I've managed to obtain the free 2016 hybrid license from o365, would I now just install 2016? – Z Holt Feb 4 '16 at 15:20
  • The SPLA has thrown a complete spanner in the works, as the hybrid licence is designed for use with on premise not a hosted solution. Even though you have managed to get a licence, you may still not be entitled to the licence because the environment is hosted. You need to speak to Microsoft and get their view. Make sure that you get it in writing. – Sembee Feb 5 '16 at 14:19

Hybrid license will allow you to run Exchange locally with out requiring a server license. Having an Office 365 SKU that includes Exchange online gives you the client access licensing (CAL) you need. Depending on how you are licensed and what you want to achieve will determine if the Hybrid license has any value for you.

The hybrid license is only valid as long as NO mailboxes are on the server. It's role is simply to manage object in a Hybrid environment. You can still use it as a mail relay for any on-perm applications that need to route mail.

If you do not have Software Assurance and want to keep the 2010 server, then the Hybrid License provide no additional value. You've already purchased a perpetual license.

If you have Software Assurance you should review your agreement as you no longer need to cover the Exchange server nor pay for Exchange CAL's.

If you don't have Software Assurance, but want to upgrade your server (since it will be around to manage Hybrid setup) then, here the Hybrid License can provide benefit as well.

To make use of the license just deploy the new Exchange server into your environment just like if you were preparing for an upgrade/migration. You'll license it with the Hybrid key and configure it like an on-prem server with all roles. Once it's configured correctly (interfaces moved, external access,etc) you can re-run the Hybrid Wizard and it will update your rules to include the new server. Be sure at this point to not select the 2010 server. Once this is finished you can go thru and decommission your 2010 server.

  • Hi Jesus,I've managed to obtain the key from O365 however i don't believe that we are actually eligible as the T&C's mention that the licence is for users who had a 2003/2007 exchange whereas we have 2010. We currently license with a third party via SPLA, we really don't want to pay for this SPLA anymore as NO mailboxes are hosted and we can use the hybrid key. – Z Holt Feb 8 '16 at 16:08
  • The SPLA situation may muddy things and I can't give an answer to that. I've worked with enterprises in the past and we've deployed with MS adjusting their VLA's (fully aware of the deployment model). Your provider may have requirements that prevent you from "bringing your own license" - I would have them contact their MS licensing rep to determine eligibility. They should have direct contact to a reputable source and if they are good partner will do so despite potentially losing the SPLA revenue. Nothing about MS licensing is straight forward, but they do work with you to get best result. – Jesus Shelby Feb 9 '16 at 18:37
  • Thanks Jesus, It does seem to to look very muddy indeed. I'm hoping in fact that we can come out of hybrid mode and get a third party tool to edit the AD attributes? – Z Holt Feb 10 '16 at 11:43
  • Look at Okta - they have a "free" version for connecting one application (which can be O365) so you can try it out. – Jesus Shelby Feb 10 '16 at 15:56

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