By: ENow Software - 03/04/2015
This is a story about one company’s trials and tribulations of migrating to and maintaining a hybrid cloud environment; specifically Microsoft Exchange. Once upon a time Acme Industries decided to move to the cloud. The decision was based on a sales pitch from a cloud vendor that described the pretty blue skies of the cloudy world. “You'll have fewer servers on premise so it’ll be less complex and overall you'll be very happy.” The company agreed that reducing on-premise services, simplifying infrastructure and gaining the ability to reprioritize their IT staff to higher value tasks made a great deal of sense. And while they all agreed this was a wise decision, they knew it was important that they recognized that like any deployment, there were going to be new processes to learn and expectations that need to be managed. However, not everything would be moving to the cloud, there would be some accounts that would remain on-premises. Therefore, theirs would be a hybrid deployment.
The company then moved their mailboxes and some data into Office 365. They started using Lync and SharePoint too. Slowly, the IT team noticed that the move to the cloud wasn’t always what they thought it would be. They uncovered a variety of challenges. A cloud solution, by itself, might be a very straightforward thing and Outlook is fairly simple. However, in a hybrid deployment, there’s a great deal going on behind the scenes. Acme quickly realized that their hybrid environment was no longer about Exchange, SharePoint or Lync individually. Rather, it is combining or federating these pieces that create a series of “unknowns”. For instance, DirSync now needed consideration. The team now required an entirely new set of factors (messaging, AD, networking, security, etc…) to review and plan for.