A new Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) is now available in preview. This new Hybrid Configuration Wizard is called either Hybrid Agent or Modern Hybrid to differentiate it from the current HCW version.

This new HCW has a lower inbound/outbound connectivity requirements and use an agent, making it more appropriate for install in DMZ.

The Hybrid Agent is built on the Azure Application Proxy, helping to reduce the connectivity requirements – to know more about these connectivity requirements you can refer to the Azure Application Proxy requirements in the section “Open your ports” https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/manage-apps/application-proxy-add-on-premises-application#prepare-your-on-premises-environment; in addition of course of the SMTP ports.

The installation of the Modern Hybrid HCW is similar to the current one, using the ClickOnce technology.

The Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard version providing this new capability is 16.0.2859.5

Next time you run your HCW, you should get notified that a new version is available.

Requirements to install the Modern Hybrid HCW

  1. The machine hosting the Hybrid Agent install must be able to HTTPS to the internet, HTTPS and Remote PowerShell (RPS) to the selected CAS server for hybrid configuration
  2. The machine hosting the Hybrid Agent should be Windows Server 2012 R2 or 2016, with .Net 4.6.2 installed (or later) 
  3. The machine where the Hybrid Agent is installed must have either Edge or Internet Explorer installed
  4. The machine where the Hybrid Agent is installed must be able to communicate with a domain controller to authenticate your on-premises Exchange Org admin credentials. This means that you must be domain joined
  5. Installation must be done as an administrator account
  6. .Net Framework version 4.6.2 is required on the machine where the HCW is being run. If this version is not already installed, HCW will prompt you to install/upgrade
  7. TLS 1.2 must be enabled on the machine where the Hybrid Agent is installed (see https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2018/01/26/exchange-server-tls-guidance-part-1-getting-ready-for-tls-1-2/ and https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/manage-apps/application-proxy-add-on-premises-application)
  8. Ensure you have MRS Proxy enabled

Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectory -Identity “EWS (Default Web Site)”-MRSProxyEnabled:$true

 

Hybrid Agent Installation

  • From the server where the hybrid agent will be installed, run the Exchange Hybrid Configuration wizard
  • After being authenticated and connected, you will be able to choose either the ‘classic’ or the ’modern’ hybrid configuration available at the step after the ‘Hybrid Feature’ (minimal or full hybrid configuration) step

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Preview Limitation

As this is still a work in progress, there is few limitations:

  • Mailtips, message tracking or multimailbox search do not use the hybrid agent; this requires to have to ‘classic’ EWS and Autodiscover publication
  • Only one agent can be installed for an Exchange organization. Support for multiple agent (and as such redundancy) will come at later stage
  • The agent saves the FQDN of the Client Access Server (CAS) registered during the configuration. This means if this CAS becomes unavailable, the free/busy lookup stops working. You can register a new CAS by re running the HCW

 

Troubleshooting

You can use a PowerShell module available here http://aka.ms/hybridconnectivity

After importing the module (Import-Module <path to the module>\HybridManagement.psm1) run the command Test-HybridConnectivity –testO365Endpoints (this not autocomplete aware)

The if you did not get any warning or error, you are good to go

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