Understanding Cloud-Only Deployments with Exchange 2010 SP3

Exchange 2010

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-09

A cloud-only deployment is one where your organization in the Exchange Online service isn’t connected with your on-premises directory and Exchange organization in a hybrid deployment. Exchange Online is part of Microsoft Office 365 . In a cloud-only deployment:

  • If you have an on-premises Exchange organization, the Exchange Online organization looks like an external mail system.

  • Users need to use different credentials to access their Exchange Online-based mailboxes.

  • Your on-premises directory isn't synchronized with the Office 365 organization. Exchange Online mailboxes and distribution groups are managed separately from on-premises mailboxes and distribution groups.

A cloud-only deployment is most often used when you want to migrate from your existing on-premises e-mail system to Exchange Online. If you've already signed up for Office 365, you can click the Cloud Only button in the Exchange Server Deployment Assistant. If you haven't chosen to sign up for Office 365 yet, here's planning information that may help you: Exchange Hybrid Deployment and Migration with Office 365.

If you don’t want any of the functionality mentioned in the list above, you need to configure a hybrid deployment between your on-premises Exchange organization and the Exchange Online organization. With a hybrid deployment, you get the following capabilities:

  • Active Directory synchronization

  • Single sign-on

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) transport

  • Free/busy and calendar sharing

  • And more.

If you want to learn more about hybrid deployments, see Understanding Hybrid Deployments with Exchange 2010 SP3.

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