With the launch of Exchange Server 2013 come some new hybrid-deployment features. (When I say "hybrid" I mean hosting a portion of your mailboxes in the cloud and a portion on premises.) I've been reading the preview documentation, Exchange Server 2013 Preview Hybrid Deployments, and it has some interesting tidbits. Here are a few:

  • Reduction of configuration tools - In Exchange 2010 SP2, configuring the hybrid deployment was a two-step process and involved using the New Hybrid Configuration wizard and then using the Manage Hybrid Configuration wizard to complete the hybrid deployment configuration process. In Exchange 2013 Preview, these wizards have now been combined into a single Hybrid Configuration wizard that handles creating the HybridConfiguration Active Directory object and configuring the hybrid deployment properties and services. (from What's New in Exchange 2013 Preview Hybrid Deployments)
  • Hybrid deployment example -Take a look at the following scenario. It's an example topology that provides an overview of a typical Exchange 2013 Preview deployment. Contoso, Ltd. is a single-forest, single-domain organization with two domain controllers, one Exchange 2013 Preview server with the Client Access role installed, and one Exchange 2013 Preview server with the Mailbox server role installed. Remote Contoso users use Outlook Web App to connect to Exchange 2013 Preview over the Internet to check their mailboxes and access their Outlook calendar. (from Understanding Hybrid Deployments)

  • Hybrid configuration features - The Hybrid Configuration wizard automatically enables all hybrid deployment features by default each time it runs. If you want to disable specific hybrid configuration features, you must use the Exchange Management Shell and the Set-HybridConfiguration cmdlet. The following hybrid deployment features are enabled by default by the wizard: Free/busy sharing, Message tracking, MailTips, Online archiving, Outlook Web App redirection, and Secure mail (from Hybrid Configuration Wizard)