Whether we like it or not, there are times in our lives where we all must move on from certain things and let them go. And that’s exactly what happened when Microsoft advised users that the extended end-of-support date for the Exchange Server 2013 mail and calendaring platform will occur on April 11, 2023 – around nine months from now. If you haven’t already started preparing your transition from Exchange 2013 to Microsoft 365 or Exchange 2019, now is the time.
Exchange Server 2013 is now in its ninth year of operation. Released in January 2013, it has long passed its mainstream end date on April 10, 2018, more than four years ago. So, what does “end of support” actually mean, and what options do you have?
What Is End of Support (EOS)?
End of support (EOS) is a scenario where a business stops offering technical support for a service or product. This is commonly used in the hardware and software industries when a corporation introduces a new version and discontinues support for prior ones.
The bulk of Microsoft products have a support lifecycle, during which time they receive new features, bug patches, security updates, etc. After the product’s/service’s initial release, its lifecycle typically lasts 10 years. The term “end of support” refers to when this lifecycle ends.
After April 11, 2023, Microsoft will no longer release updates and will stop offering the following services for Exchange 2013:
- Technical assistance for potential issues.
- Security updates for vulnerabilities that could leave the server open to security intrusions
- Updates on time zones.
- Bug fixes for problems that may affect the server’s dependability and usability
Your Exchange 2013 installation will continue to function after this date. However, it’s strongly advised that you transition from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2019 as quickly as possible due to the changes mentioned above – and now is the time to start planning.
What Should I Do?
The two options for avoiding the end of Exchange Server 2013 support include migrating to Microsoft 365 or upgrading to Exchange 2019.
On-premise servers should be upgraded to Exchange Server 2019 if you want to continue receiving bug fixes and security patches for newly reported problems. However, it is important that you confirm the necessary clients, hardware, software, and network components are in place prior to deploying new installations of Exchange Server 2019.
Microsoft advises switching to its hosted Exchange Online email and calendar client, which can be accessed alone or as part of an Office 365 subscription. Keep in mind that Microsoft’s documentation website has information on the Microsoft 365 migration options and techniques you should employ.
Even though changes can be an inconvenience sometimes, it’s important to appreciate the new perspectives that keep our lives from becoming monotonous.
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