Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 was released in November 2009 and has been incredibly reliable since then. But all good things come to an end and in January 2020, Exchange Server 2010 will officially reach "End of Life". It’s already at the point where no enhancements are being made to the product – the only updates occurring are fixes relating to critical security issues.

NetCare recommends that our remaining clients still running Exchange 2010 migrate to Office 365 in a time frame according to the following three factors:

  • the security and compliance requirements of the business;
  • the age of the hardware platform on which your Exchange Server is based; and
  • your Microsoft Office licensing arrangements

Compliance Requirements

The most important consideration on when to migrate to Office 365 concerns the compliance requirements of your industry. The anti-malware capabilities of Exchange 2010 are not being updated to account for the latest security threats, so your email server is increasingly vulnerable to emerging new cyber threats.

If you're in an industry that has compliance obligations - for example financial service providers and medical practises - then NetCare recommends you migrate to Office 365 by the end of 2018.

Age of the Hardware Platform

If your organization moved to Exchange Server 2010 early, your server hardware is now at least six years old. This suggests a planned and orderly migration to Office 365 should occur before the end of 2018.

However Exchange Server was still being actively deployed as late as 2015 (especially as part of SBS 2011), so your server may only be 3 or 4 years old. If its still covered by an extended hardware warranty, then we suggest migrating to Office 365 by the end of 2019 at the very latest!

Microsoft Office Licensing

The third factor to consider is the type of Microsoft Office licensing you have in place. This question arises because Outlook 2016 is not compatible with Exchange 2010. If you have purchased Office versions via the Open License program, then this is not a problem as you can use downgrade rights to install Office 2013 on your computers. But, if you have the standard Office license that is linked to the computer you purchased it for, then this becomes a significant problem as you replace old computers with new ones. Because Office 2013 is no longer available, you won't have a new Office license to install that is compatible with Exchange 2010.

Put simply, if you intend to replace old computers and you also have old Office 2010 licenses, then you should first upgrade your email server to Office 365.

Do You Have Small Business Server 2011?

If you are running SBS2011, you might actually be able to maximize the return on your capital investment by continuing to run SBS2011 into 2020. This assumes of course that you are running a Tier 1 brand server (for example HP) that is still covered by the manufacturer's extended warranty and that you also have a Microsoft certified IT support expert monitoring and tuning your system on a regular basis.

Your best option in this case is to migrate to Office 365 sooner rather than later. Moving your email system to the cloud now will free up valuable resources on your ageing file-server and will have the side-benefit of extending the useful working life of your server hardware for another 12 months or so. We recommend a 2 step project - Step 1 is migrating to Office 365 and Step 2 is to replace your SBS2010 server with a new fileserver running Windows Server 2016.

It's Time to Upgrade to Office 365

Migrating from Exchange Server 2010 to Office 365 makes significant sense from both a business productivity and business reputation point of view, especially if your business has regulatory requirements around the storing of personal client and employee information.

We recommend all our clients migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 by June 30th 2019.

To find out more on how we can perform your stress-free Office 365 migration quickly and cost-effectively, please contact us now by completing the webform below and we'll get back to you within 4 business hours.