Microsoft has announced the public preview of the Hybrid Agent. The Hybrid Agent is part of Exchange Modern Hybrid, a new hybrid topology available to connect your Exchange on-premises servers to Exchange Online.
Microsoft announced the public preview of the Hybrid Agent. The Hybrid Agent is part of Exchange Modern Hybrid, a new hybrid topology available to connect your Exchange on-premises servers to Exchange Online.
For an overview of Modern Hybrid and Hybrid Agent, see Dominik Hoefling’s here.
Hybrid Agent public preview scenarios & limitations
If you plan to use the Hybrid Agent in your environment, you should understand that it does not provide the full functionality (yet) and currently supports the following scenarios:
- Free/busy requests from Exchange Online users to Exchange on-premises (free/busy requests to Exchange Online go direct and require an outbound connectivity of your Exchange servers)
- Mailbox migrations to/from Exchange Online
However, compared to a Classic Hybrid implementation you will be missing the following cross-premises functionalities:
- Message Tracking
- Multi-mailbox searches
Additionally, you should consider the following limitations:
- The hybrid agent will not handle any SMTP mail flow, so you still need a public certificate for mail flow between Exchange Online and your Exchange environment
- Don’t use the Hybrid Agent if you plan on enabling Hybrid Modern Auth as this requires you to publish AutoDiscover, EWS, MAPI and OAB. For example, Outlook mobile takes advantage of Hybrid Modern Auth.
It’s also important to mention that the public preview only supports a single Hybrid Agent install for the Exchange Organization. So, there is no failover redundancy available when the server fails where the Hybrid Agent is installed on.
How to install the Hybrid Agent
The Hybrid Agent public preview is available when you run the Office 365 Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW). You can run the HCW either from Exchange Admin Center or as a stand-alone version using this link.
After selecting your Minimal or Full Hybrid Configuration, you should see the following page that allows you to select Exchange Modern Hybrid Topology (Preview) to install the Hybrid Agent.
Note: If you don’t see the Hybrid Topology page in the HCW, you might have already established a successful hybrid configuration, meaning this option won’t be available.
Remember, it’s a public preview
If you decide to test the Hybrid Agent in your production environment, be mindful it is still a preview and has limited Microsoft support. Make sure you test this thoroughly over a longer period of time before you make it available to your users.
For more information about the Hybrid Agent click here.