Guidance on up to date Hybrid Exchange deployment in 2021/2022

Aspall IT 436 Reputation points


We have an Exchange 2016 server running on Windows Server 2016. This is activated using the HCW and the free license Microsoft provide.
We need to rebuild and replace this server on new infrastructure, and want to build on Server 2022, to make sure our Server OSs are as up to date as possible from day 1.

Exchange 2016 does not install, nor is it supported on 2022. The latest it works on is 2016.
As Microsoft do no offer the same free hybrid license for Exchange 2019, I am unclear on what Microsoft's current guidance is on deploying a new Hybrid Exchange server in the year 2021/2022.

You would think their guidance would be to "be as up to date as possible". Whilst 2016 is in extended support, we will get no further CUs for Exchange 2016. So it feels disingenuous for them to say "Be up to date", but also, "We aren't going to let you have a free Exchange license anymore".

I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place, as the server is for management of synced objects only, so we want to deploy the latest and greatest, but don't want to pay for full Exchange!


Microsoft Exchange Hybrid Management
Microsoft Exchange Hybrid Management
Microsoft Exchange: Microsoft messaging and collaboration software.Hybrid Management: Organizing, handling, directing or controlling hybrid deployments.
1,241 questions
Exchange Server Management
Exchange Server Management
Exchange Server: A family of Microsoft client/server messaging and collaboration software.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
6,097 questions
No comments
{count} votes

Accepted answer
  1. Andy David - MVP 110.7K Reputation points MVP

    Yea, its coming, but when? Who knows :(

    Im sticking with Exch 2016 for now. My hope is that they figure out how to remove the Exch on-prem requirement in a few years.

    Exch 2016 CU22 was released in Sept/Oct.

    No comments

1 additional answer

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. Andy David - MVP 110.7K Reputation points MVP

    If you want the free hybrid, yea that's your only option.
    Note that Microsoft is still releasing CUs for Exch 2016 however

    I would stick with 2016 until the end as much as you can. At some point, a new version of on-prem Exch will be released and Microsoft will figure out this whole hybrid mess that requires an Exchange Server to remain on-prem to be supported.