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Navigating Exchange Server 2016’s End of Mainstream Support

Exchange Server 2016 – The End of Mainstream Support
Introduction
As of April 13, 2021, Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 will no longer be receiving mainstream support. This means that Microsoft will no longer be providing new features and updates for the version. However, Exchange Server 2016 will still be eligible to receive security updates until April 14, 2026.

It is important to note that Exchange Server 2016 is still supported on the current versions of Windows Server and the latest cumulative updates, so there is no need to update the version. For organizations running Exchange Server 2016, there are several options available for continuing to receive security updates.

Options for Exchange Server 2016
Option 1: Upgrade to Exchange Server 2019/2021
The most straightforward option is to upgrade to Exchange Server 2019/2021. This will provide organizations with access to the latest features and capabilities, as well as ongoing security updates. Exchange Server 2019/2021 can be deployed on Windows Server 2012, 2016, or 2019.

Option 2: Stay on Exchange Server 2016
Organizations can also choose to stay on Exchange Server 2016 and receive security updates until April 14, 2026. This option is best for organizations that have already invested in Exchange Server 2016 and do not need the latest features.

Upgrading to Exchange Server 2019/2021
For organizations looking to upgrade to Exchange Server 2019/2021, the process is relatively straightforward. The process involves installing the new version of Exchange Server and then migrating data from the old version.

Step 1: Install Exchange Server 2019/2021
The first step is to install Exchange Server 2019/2021 on the appropriate Windows Server version. The installation process is the same as for any other version of Exchange Server.

Step 2: Migrate Data
Once Exchange Server 2019/2021 is installed, the next step is to migrate data from the old version. There are several tools available for this process, including the Exchange Migration Wizard, the Exchange Admin Center (EAC), and the Exchange Management Shell (EMS).

Step 3: Verify Data
Once the data has been migrated, it is important to verify that the data has been migrated correctly. This can be done by comparing the contents of the old version with the contents of the new version.

Conclusion
Exchange Server 2016 will no longer be receiving mainstream support as of April 13, 2021. However, organizations can continue to receive security updates until April 14, 2026. The best option for organizations is to upgrade to Exchange Server 2019/2021, which will provide access to the latest features and capabilities, as well as ongoing security updates. The process of upgrading to Exchange Server 2019/2021 involves installing the new version and then migrating data from the old version.
References:
Exchange Server 2016 and the End of Mainstream Support

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